October 12, 2017
What if I told you the prime difference between the New Testament and the Old Testament could be summarized in two words? You already know what they are don’t you?
In the Old Testament, the Presence of God presented all around God’s people. God was in the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night. God resided between the Cheribum on the mercy seat atop the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies deep in the heart of the Tabernacle and later in the Temple. God was with his people. At the same time there was this building prophecy that God would be Immanuel, God-with-us, even moreso in the future, with the coming of Messiah.
Messiah did in fact come, in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, the God-Man. God was now with us in human flesh. Immanuel, the promise, was now Immanuel, the person. Still the vision was not yet realized. Jesus told his disciples that unless and until he ascended to the Father the Holy Spirit would not come.
The mystery, long hidden and now revealed, is not God with us. It is Christ in us. This was the vision from the start—the vision of Eden; not just God with us, but God in us.
We think so much of the presence of God as a kind of phenomenon that exists around us. The New Testament primarily envisages the presence of God as dwelling within us. We have thought so much about the plan of salvation as getting us into heaven. All along the plan of salvation has been to get heaven into us.
The two words that changed everything?
Abba Father, we thank you for your son, Jesus, who more than with us would dwell within us. Awaken me to this mystery and make it my reality: Christ in me. We pray in Jesus name. Amen.
1. Do you think of God being with you more or in you more?
2. What are the implications of Christ being “in you?”
3. What would it mean and look like for you to become more attuned to the reality of Jesus Christ dwelling in you through the presence of the Holy Spirit?
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J.D. Walt, is a Bond Slave of the Lord Jesus Christ. firstname.lastname@example.org.