Friday, February 5, 2010

the outline of the Gospel of John as it relates to the Tabernacle

This comes from a book called "Through New Eyes" by James Jordan.

The chapter in which the outline is found is discussing Jesus as the Tabernacle - how He is the embodiment of all the "furniture" and function of the Tabernacle. Then Jordan diverts his comments for a while to show how the Tabernacle itself is the pattern John uses as the outline for his gospel.

"The Word became flesh, and tabernacled among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth." The reference to glory is to the glory-cloud that filled the Tabernacle and was enthroned in it.
John begins where the priest would begin, with the laver of cleansing. Here the priest would wash himself and also the sacrifice before offering it. Jesus is both priest and sacrifice, and also the one who washes His living sacrifices, the Church.
Thus, John 1:18 - 34 concerns the baptism of John the Forerunner.
In John 2:1-11, at a wedding Jesus takes water out of "six stone waterpots set there for the Jewish custom of purification" and turns it into wine.
In John 2:13-25, Jesus cleanses the Temple.
In John 3:1-21, Nicodemus engages Jesus in a discussion of the new birth, of water and the Spirit.
In John 3:22-36, John's baptism leads to an argument over purification, and a discussion of Jesus as the Bridegroom.
In John 4:1-42, Jesus presents Himeslf as Bridegroom to a Samaritan woman at a well In John 4:46-54, Jesus restores a dying boy to life at "Cana fo Galilee, where He had made the water wine" (4:46).
In John 5:1-47, Jesus heals a man at the pool of Bethesda, and then gets in to a discussion with the Jews about resurrection. This concludes John's section on the laver, which has revolved around water, purification, baptism, resurrection, and Christ as Bridegroom.
John then turns to the Table of Showbread. In John 6, Jesus feeds the five thousand, calls Himself "the bread of life", and tells the people that they must eat His flesh and drink His blood (v.53).
In John 7, Jesus presents Himself as the drink of life (v37), recalling the libations that went with the showbread and meal offerings.

The Lampstand comes next. Jesus presents Himself as the light of the world in John 8.
In John 9, Jesus heals a blind man.
In John 10, Jesus presents Himself as the Good Shepherd. The connection of this to the Lampstand lies in the fact that David was the Good Shepherd of the Old Covenant, and the Bible repeatedly speaks of David as a lamp (2 Sam. 21:17; I Kings 11:36; 15:4...) There is a conceptual parallel between a lamp shining in dark place and the voice of the shepherd heard by the sheep.
In John 11, Jesus raises Lazarus, explaining that it is a matter of awakening him from darkness and sleep to light and day. In John 12, Jesus comments that those who had not believed in him were blind, but that those who did believe would become sons of light.

Starting in John 13, we move throught these items of furniture a second time. Jesus washes the disciples' feet; breaks bread with them; moves into a discussion of the Holy Sprit, the ultimate archetype of the seven lamps in the Tabernacle. After this, Jesus prays His high priestly prayer at the altar of incense - concluding the re-cap in John 17.

The Crucifixion and Death of Jesus involved a double motion, in terms of the Tabernacle. The sacrifice was made outside the Tabernacle in the courtyard on the altar. Then, on the day of atonement the High Priest took the blood into the Most Holy and presented it before the Throne of God (Lev. 16:15). Just so, we see the Lamb of God sacrificed outside the gate, and then He presents His Death before the Father's throne (Heb. 9:7, 23-26) Under the law, when the High Priest came back out from the Most Holy, still alive, it was a sign that God had accepted the sacrifice. The Resurrection of Jesus fulfills that type.
Also, when the High Priest offfered the sacrifice on the Day of Atonement, he put aside his garments of glory and beauty and wore a simple linen garment. Agreeably, when Peter entered the tomb, "he beheld the linen wrappings lying there" (John 20:6), because Jesus had put back on His garments of Glory and beauty (Lev. 16:4, 23-24).

When Mary Magdalene looked into the tomb, "she beheld two angels in white sitting, one at the head, and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying" (John 21:12). Arthur Pink comments, "Who can doubt the obvious connection that the Holy Spirit would have us link up this verse with Ex. 25:17-19...." The tomb becomes the new Holy of Holies.
The tomb enclosed by the great stone formed but one more Most Holy Place, all the more so because here the incarnate Word was placed. Outside this tomb was a garden, a reminder of the garden-sanctuary of the Tabernacle. When Mary Magdalene saw Jesus, she rightly recognized Him as the New Gardener, the new Adam (20:15). The Magdalene, restored from her seven demons, symbolizes the Church, the new Eve, the Bride.
The tomb is the new Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle which had the Ark of the Covenant in which were the Law (Christ fulfilled all the Law and was thus - the embodiment of the Law; Aaron's rod that budded (Christ would live having been cut off from the land of the living); manna (Christ was the bread of life). Finally, it was the place where the priest would present the blood sacrifice. The tomb, when it held Jesus' body, was everything the Holy of Holies had been, but more so.

John is not finished with his Edenic motifs. As God breathed life into Adam in Genesis 2:7, so Jesus breathes life into His Apostles in John 20:22. As naked Adam hid in the garden, so naked Peter hid in the sea until Jesus restored him to his work (John 21:7).
Thus our Lord wrapped Himself in the garment of the old creation, and in His Death and Resurrection created all things anew."

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