Have you beheld the glory of God?
The experience of all believers in Christ is expressed in the words of the apostle Paul, “We, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:18).
Jesus Christ came that men might see His glory and believe on Him (Jn. 20:31). At the miracle in Cana of Galilee, Jesus “revealed His glory, and His disciples put their faith in Him” (John 2:11). The disciples saw His glory during the day of His flesh, and believed that God had visited them.
“We beheld His glory.” What was it they saw? John testified, “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth” (Jn. 1:14).
The apostle John literally says, “He pitched His tent among us.” He “tabernacled” Himself among men. John has in mind the Jewish tabernacle in the wilderness, or the portable “tent of meeting” which was the center of worship in the Hebrew nation.
The tent that housed the tabernacle was about 45 feet long and 15 feet wide, and was divided into two rooms, called the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies. The Ark of the Covenant was the only piece of furniture in the Holy of Holies also called the Most Holy Place.
It is important to keep in mind that everything about the tabernacle centered on the worship of the LORD God. But it served a greater purpose of pointing to the coming of the Son of God who would pitch His tent among us so we could behold His glory and worship Him.
The tabernacle was the center of worship in the Old Testament. Today we gather around the person of the Lord Jesus Christ and worship the LORD God. “It is through Jesus alone that we have access by one Spirit unto the Father” (Eph. 2:18).
The tabernacle symbolized the dwelling place of the LORD God. The divine glory in the Holy of Holies symbolized the holy presence of God with His people.
The second person of the Trinity became a human being and “pitched His tent among us.” God became man and lived among us. In Him man could behold God’s glory.
The tabernacle was the center of Israel’s camp in the wilderness (Num. 2:17). Everything centered around it. It is highly significant that Jesus Christ “is the center of the Christian encampment. He is our gathering place,” notes Boice. Jesus said, “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself” (Jn. 12:32). “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them” (Matthew 18:20).
The tabernacle was where the testimony of God’s self-revelation was preserved. A copy of the Law of Moses was preserved in the Ark of the Covenant.
Jesus Christ came to fulfill the law completely. “Do not think that I came to abolish the law or the prophets; I do not come to abolish, but to fulfill” (Matthew 5:17). He came to bring the law to full completion, perfection and give complete obedience to it. Indeed, Jesus was the complete fulfillment of its type, prophecies and payment of the penalty of sin.
The apostle John saw that God had been revealed in the flesh of His unique Son and declared, “We have seen His gory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father.” Jesus replaced the ancient tabernacle of God. In His flesh He is the manifestation of God’s presence and power on earth. God meets with man today and speaks to him in the second tabernacle. Instead of a limited revelation of Himself as was given to Moses (Ex. 33:20), we have the full, revelation of God, “the exact representation” of the invisible God in His Son (Heb. 1:30.
The old tabernacle was the place where the sacrifices were made reminding the people of Israel “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin” (Heb. 9:22).
There is no other name given among men were by we must be saved (Acts 4:12). There is no salvation except through faith in the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 9:11-14). “The blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin” (1 Jn. 1:7).
The perfect sacrifice of the Lamb of God was offered up to the LORD God in the tabernacle of His own flesh at the cross of Calvary. Have you put your faith in Him and beheld His gory and worshipped Him? Yes, you can “behold the glory of God” today.