John 1:1-14; Titus 3:4-7; Exodus 40:17-21, 34-38

In the name of the Father and of the +Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. 

Moses set up the Tabernacle, the Tent of old (Exodus 40:17), according to the Word of Lord when the Lord in glory descended upon the mountain and met with Him. (Exod. 19:16-25) On that day when He descended in cloud and deep darkness (Exod. 20:18-21; Heb. 12:18-21) with trumpets and the mighty voice of God. It terrified the Sons of Israel at the foot of the mountain so that they said, “Moses you speak to us. We are terrified by His voice. Let us not hear it again or we will die.” (Exod. 20:19) Well, at the Lord’s command (Exod. 40:19, 21) Moses set up the Tabernacle, the Tent of Testimony. (Exod. 40:34LXX) A tent covered over thrice. (Exod. 40:19, 21, 34) Not only by its own tent, but then again by another covering (also by the curtain which separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place) and again by the cloud which settled on the Tent of Testimony. The pillar of cloud in which the Lord resided as He led them all their journeys through. (Exod. 40:38) Except when the cloud settled on the tent—where the Sons of Israel could meet their God—when the glory of the Lord filling the cloud settled into the tent and the glory filled the Tent. (Exod. 40:34)

So Moses spoke to them from God. So that they could hear God and not be terrified. (Exod. 20:19) He met with the Lord in the gateway to the Tent of Meeting so that they could safely access God and not be destroyed by His glorious, purifying radiance. And He gave them the Testimonies of the Lord. 

All this happened by the Word of the Lord. (Exod. 40:19, 21) For in the beginning the Word of God was with God and not one thing happened that has happened apart from that Word. (John 1:1-3) For this is how God works. He speaks. He testifies. His Word (John 1:1), His Son (John 1:14), causes things to happen. (John 1:3) He is the power of God unto salvation. (Rom. 1:16) He is the light of men in whom is life. (John 1:4) For we are only truly alive in His light which is truth. 

Now the Tent was not the Lord. Just as John was not the Lord. (John 1:8, 19-20) John was merely sent as a witness, a testimony, to lead people to the Lord. (John 1:7-8) Just as the Tent and the Ark of Testimony were not the Lord. But they were the visible witness of the Lord. Instead the ark had the testimonies of the Lord in it. (Exod. 40:20) And the Ark resided in the Tent. And the Ark was the throne of the Lord, on which He settled when the Tent was set up. (Exod. 40:34) The Lord could be found where His testimony was found. In the Ark and Tent. But He was not the Ark nor the Tent. Just as He is not our altar. It is merely His throne where His body and blood sit when His testimony is given. (Matt. 26:26-28) But He can be found on that altar when His testimony is testified to. For the Lord was IN the cloud. (Exod. 40:34-35, 38) But He was not the cloud. He and His glory filled the cloud as they filled the Tent. But He was not the Tent, nor the Ark, nor the Cloud. 

However, the Word who is God was with God in the beginning. All things happened through Him. Just as Moses happened and was sent. (Exod. 40:17LXX) Just as John happened and was sent. (John 1:6) For not one thing happened apart from Him. (John 1:3) For through Him all things happen. So just as the Tent was erected at the Lord’s Word and was filled with the glory of the Lord (Exod. 40:34), so also Jesus came in our flesh, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14) In Him we see His glory, the glory of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. For in Jesus the world has seen the glory of the Father. For the Glory of the Father is to save! Even as it was in time of Moses. 

And John says very specifically that when Jesus came He tented or Tabernacled among us. (John 1:14 Greek) Full of grace and truth. For Jesus is God’s testimony to you: full of grace and truth. For the Lord is in Him. In His flesh. But not in the way the Lord was in the Tent of old, where the Tent was not the Lord. Now the Tent of Christ’s body IS the Lord. God IS flesh. God who fills heaven and earth. Who created heaven and earth. He—whom no one can hide from for He knows, created, and inhabits all things—can be located in one place: wherever that flesh of Jesus is. There is your God. Full of grace and truth for you. He—the grace of God—is the glory of God which filled the Tent of old.

For even of old God meets with His people not to terrify or destroy them, but to grant them forgiveness and access to Himself. Just as the only Son from the Father is filled with the Father’s favour (grace=favour). His unmitigated pleasure. So wherever the flesh of Christ is found, there is the Father’s good pleasure found. That’s why this Christ Mass—this celebration of Christ in our flesh, Christ come to be eaten, as He was laid in a feed trough—Christ laid on our altar is so glorious. For here He is found for you. In grace and truth.

In +Jesus’ name, Amen. 


—Pastor David Haberstock