For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form.
The glory of the Lord, Which led His people safely through the wilderness by pillars of fire and smoke departed from the disobedient nation of Israel and God’s presence left the holy temple in Jerusalem, which was to be a house of prayer for all the nations – but which had become a den of thieves for the unscrupulous religious leaders of the day.
But something wonderful happened in the little town of Bethlehem one glorious night.. as shepherd’s tended their flocks and Jewish men and women scurried to the town of their ancestry – for an imposed census, required by their Roman conquerors – a census ordained by God, so that the glory of the Lord could once again return to His people.
It was Moses who beseeched the Lord to: show me Your glory, and the radiance of the Lord was reflected in the face of Moses, so that the skin of his face would shine. The priests of the Lord were unable to enter the Tabernacle of God for the glory of the Lord filled the Temple, so that they fell down with their faces to the ground, worshiping and praising the Lord, saying, “He is good! He is faithful and His love endures forever.“
The glory of the Lord that thundered in Mount Sinai was the same glory from which Isaiah hid his face – for in the presence of God he knew he was a sinful man with unclean lips dwelling in the midst of a sinful race of people. The glory of the Lord that had filled the Temple of Solomon was the same glory that Ezekiel witnessed as it hovered over the cherubim – before reluctantly departing from the people of God and His holy Temple…
But something amazing happened in the little town of Bethlehem, while shepherds watched their flocks that glorious night. The glory of God, which had been absent from His people for many centuries once more shone round about that little group of men. No wonder they fell to the ground in terror for God was visiting His people once more.
The glory of the Lord that shone round about that little band of shepherds was to be of far greater glory than the glory reflected on the face of Moses, or the pillar of fire that led God’s people through the wilderness. The glory that was to be revealed was a greater glory that which filled the Temple of Solomon or resided in the Holy of Holies.
For the Word of God became flesh and dwelt amongst us. He tabernacled here on earth. The eternal Son became the incarnate Word and the very body of our Lord Jesus Christ became the residence of God – the Temple of the Lord – and the apostle John tells us that they saw His glory, as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
The glory of God became visible in a new and unique way, taking up residence in a new and living Temple – a temple not made with hands but a human body where all the attributes of Deity reside – for in Christ dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.
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