We have begun a Christmas series of messages entitled: “The Word Made Flesh.” This new series is taken from John 1:14 “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”
Today I want to look at the next part of the text : The Word….dwelt among us. That word “dwelt" in the Greek is only used a handful of times; it's very specific in its use, and it means “to tabernacle" or to camp in tents. The tabernacle in the Old Testament was a place of meeting that was temporary and portable; a place of meeting where the people of God would meet with God Himself, it was a place that was designed by God.
Jesus is saying I'm coming to dwell with you. I am going to make my abode with you. I'm going to pitch this earthly tent of my body alongside of you and I'm going to, as the Son of God, partake in all of human activity and I'm going to get to know you and you can get to know Me.
In the Old Testament God also said to His people:” I want to make my dwelling among you.” “ I want to pitch my tent alongside yours.” He said to Moses in Exodus 25:8 And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them.
God is saying to Moses: I need a sanctuary; I need a place that is set apart and dedicated to Me because I am holy and pure. It needs to be a dedicated place, a sanctified place - so I can come and be with you and stay with you. What are the conditions under which God is able to dwell with us? What is a proper sanctuary for Him to make His abode?
Well, the best answer comes from the book of Exodus where God gave all of the explanation and instruction about how to build all of the implements, curtains, articles of worship of the tabernacle. He told Moses that continual sacrifice needed to be made in Exodus 29:42 This shall be a continual burnt offering throughout your generations at the door of the tabernacle of meeting before the Lord, where I will meet you to speak with you. 43 And there I will meet with the children of Israel, and the tabernacle shall be sanctified by My glory.
The Bible says that year old lambs needed to be brought twice daily in order to be sacrificed as an offering to God. Jesus became our sinless sacrifice once and for all so that He could dwell with us through the Spirit but if we are to be a sanctuary for the Spirit of God it requires sacrifice from us too.
How do we draw near? How can my life be an appropriate sanctuary for Jesus? As the old Christmas carol says: “Let every heart, prepare Him room”…prepare a sanctuary for the living God… prepare your heart to receive Him…. receive Jesus who was made flesh and He will dwell with you today ... .and you will have the promise of an eternal dwelling tomorrow.
Revelation 21:3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.
Join us in person on Sunday at 10:00 a.m. or via livestream by going to https://www.firstbaptistsudbury.com and clicking on livestream for “ Make Me a Sanctuary. ”