From Eden to Zion: A Temple Story

What is the best way to describe the Bible?

Is it a collection of verses that supply promises and warnings for the Christian life?  Is it a collection of books that each point to Jesus Christ?  Or is it an epic story of Paradise Created, Paradise Lost, Paradise Promised, and Paradise Made New in Christ?

Perhaps, the best answer is all the above.  While each of these three answers are correct, I think the last is the most difficult to see in Scripture.  In the last month, we have given attention on Sunday mornings to the tabernacle in Exodus and how it fits into God’s plan of redemption.  Because of that, I want to give you a biblical roadmap that traces God’s “tabernacles,” I think by seeing this line of dwelling places, it will give you greater ground for hope in God.  Let’s see. Continue reading

Immanuel: A Devotional Reflection on Matthew 1:18–25

Matthew 1–2 is a rich passage for discerning who Jesus is and how the apostles understood Jesus to be the Christ.  As to the former, Matthew introduces his Jewish audience to Jesus as Immanuel, “God with us” (1:18–25), the King of the Jews (2:1–10), the Son of God (2:13–15), the covenant Lord (2:16–18), and the Suffering Servant (2:19–23).  As to the latter, Matthew employs a variety of quotations, allusions, and metaphors to paint the picture of Jesus fulfilling the messianic prophecies of old.

In this post we will focus on the first aspect of Jesus’ identity—he is the fulfillment of Isaiah 7:14, the Immanuel. Continue reading