GOD ABOVE US. WITH US. IN US
Throughout history God has used various ways to reveal himself to mankind. From the creation of man when he walked in the garden in the cool of the day with Adam and Eve, on throughout history, God has never left man wondering about his desire for relationship. Even when man was not looking for him – he was always looking for them.
In the Old Testament Jehovah God was perceived as above us – somewhere in the heavenly realm. At various times he would manifest himself through an audible voice (Ex. 3), awesome miracles (Ex. 34:10) eye-blinding light (Luke 2:9), floods (Gen. 7), rainbows (Ex. 9:12-13), pillars of fire (Ex. 13:21), and clouds that showed up during the day to lead his people through their wilderness journey (Ex. 13:22). Most everyone viewed God as far away.
All this changed in the New Testament when God sent Jesus to dwell among men. “And they will call him Immanuel which means, ‘God with us.’” (Matt. 1:23) Almighty God was now with us in Jesus who was born in Bethlehem; was raised in Nazareth; who experienced life as we know it – yet without sin. He healed the sick, cast out demons, calmed the sea, and fed hungry people. At the age of 33 he died as our Savior and proved he was the Son of God by rising from the dead after three days and appearing alive to over 500 people. “And we saw his true glory, the glory of the only Son of the Father. From him all the kindness and all the truth of God have come down to us.” (John 1:14)
In the Old Testament God was God over us. In the four Gospels He was God with us. But God had an even greater plan to presence himself “in us.” (II Cor. 6:16)
On the eve before his crucifixion, Jesus gathered his troubled disciples together in an upper room and after he had washed their feet and had communion with them, he promised, “I am not leaving you comfortless: I will come to you. I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever.” (John 14:16-17) The moment we receive Jesus, God’s Spirit takes up permanent residence within to presence himself with us and to make Jesus known.
God involved the whole trinity to make himself known. The Father who master-minded the plan to reconcile all things to himself; the Son Jesus, who came to live among us and take upon himself the full penalty for our sins. (John 3:16-17) And the Holy Spirit who was sent to indwell us as God’s seal of ownership on us (II Cor. 1:21-22), to assure us a place at the table as part of His eternal family.
Be blessed my friend.
The Barnabas Group / Loads of Love
Exodus 3:13-15; Luke 1:35; Matthew 1:18-25; John 16:7-15