I’m under the pump to have our church’s Exodus bible studies ready for the Exodus breakfast this Saturday, but I noticed this and wanted to share.
I was looking at the promise that God makes after giving the law at Sinai:
‘Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you.‘ Ex 25:8-9
I was thinking about how that promise is true for those living on this side of the cross, who don’t move around the desert setting up big tents anymore. I remembered John 1:14:
‘The Word became flesh and made his dwelling (lit: ‘tabernacled’) among us.‘
But it was when my mind went to Matthew’s gospel that I noticed something really cool (which I have probably been taught somewhere or other but forgotten): ‘God With Us’ is the frame for Matthew’s whole Gospel. He begins with the account of the birth of Jesus, whom he says:
they will call him Immanuel – which means, “God with us.” (Matt 1:23)
And Matthew closes his Gospel with the risen Jesus’ words:
And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. (Matt 28:20)
That which the tabernacle foreshadowed has come true in the person and work of Jesus (and of course, in the sending of the Holy Spirit to be God’s presence amongst us and within us). And Matthew wanted to make that very clear that that’s what Jesus life, death and resurrection is all about.