The Boards, the Bars, & the Oneness (4)
God became a man
in Christ so that, as a man,
He could uplift our
human nature with
His divine nature
The tabernacle shows us that God’s dwelling place must be something that is both divine and human.
We see this in the ark within the tabernacle, which beyond question a type of Christ; just as God met with the children of Israel at the ark and spoke with them there (Exo. 25:22), so today Christ is the very place where we meet with God and where He speaks to us (Rom. 3:25, Heb. 1:1-2). The two materials comprising the ark, then, the wood and the gold, signify the human and divine natures of Christ, respectively.
Of course, God did not have humanity in eternity past. For that, He had to become a man in the person of Jesus Christ by means of the incarnation. And the apostle John, speaking of the Lord’s incarnation, does not simply say that the Lord became a man. Rather, he says that “the Word became flesh” (John 1:14). Calvin has a very striking statement about this in his Commentary on this verse:
This word [“flesh”] expresses his meaning more forcibly than if the evangelist had said that Christ was made man. He wanted to show to what a low and abject state the Son of God descended from the height of his heavenly glory, for our sake. When Scripture speaks of man derogatorily it calls him “flesh.” How great is the distance between the spiritual glory of the Word of God and the stinking filth of our flesh! Yet the Son of God stooped so low that he took on himself that flesh which is subject to so many miseries…
But while He was willing to lower Himself to such an extent as to take on “the stinking filth of our flesh,” He had no intention of leaving mankind forever in its fallen state; rather, He came to save us out of that fallen state. He did indeed come among us in “the likeness of the flesh of sin,” but then He “condemned sin in the flesh” (Rom. 8:3) by taking that flesh and our sin with Him to the cross. Then, by being resurrected and glorified, He uplifted the human nature with His divine nature (cf. 2 Pet. 1:4).
And today, as the first man to have gone through the process of death, resurrection, and glorification, He is “leading many sons into glory” (Heb. 2:10); that is, He is now bringing us, His believers, through the very same process of death and resurrection that He went through as a man on the earth. Thus He will eventually become “the Firstborn among many brothers” (Rom. 8:29-30). At that time we will no longer be miserable, fallen sinners, but rather, as the many glorified sons of God, we will all share in the same glorified, uplifted humanity that Christ has (cf. Col. 1:27-28). Praise the Lord!
Thus, the humanity of God’s eternal dwelling place, the New Jerusalem, will not be that fallen humanity we see today; that will have been completely put away by the work of Christ. Instead, it will be a humanity that has been uplifted and fully glorified with the divine nature.
Again I would say, praise the Lord for His marvelous purpose for mankind!
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— 23 September 2023 —