COVENANTAL CRISES VI:
The Incarnate Covenant
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . . And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt [from Greek skenoo = tabernacle] among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. — John 1:1, 14.
The Promises of God Fulfilled
Thus, after more than a thousand years, the covenantal God, YHWH, fulfilled all the promises he had made to the “Chosen People” when he became human as the Tabernacle and Temple(s) had explicitly symbolized.1,2 He was born in a manger at Bethlehem and soon taken to Egypt by Joseph and Mary to escape the threat of death from Herod the Great. Later his parents left Egypt and took him to their family home in Nazareth, a suburb of Sepphoris, then the provincial capital of Galilee. There he was raised, and there he became a humble artisan who worked with Joseph and others in rebuilding Sepphoris after it was devastated by the rebellion of Judas of Galilee (6 CE).3,4
Soon after he reached maturity, Jesus left his family home in Nazareth and journeyed to the river Jordan, where his cousin John the Baptist was “preaching in the wilderness of Judaea” (Matthew 3:1). There Jesus insisted that John baptize him, and “straightway . . . the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: and lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:16, 17).
The “Other Side” of God Overturned
Immediately thereafter Jesus was “led of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil” (Matthew 4:1). After fasting for 40 days, Jesus was approached by his tempter, the devil or Satan — who in Jewish thought was the alter ego of God himself.5 Jesus resisted Satan’s three fundamental temptations and thus overturned the “other side” of God (see Isaiah 45:7).6
Jesus then began his ministry. He recruited disciples, preached to multitudes, fed the hungry, forgave sinners, healed the sick, raised the dead, and cleansed the Temple. In response to his covenantal love and blessings, the leaders of Israel were furious and finally convinced the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, to arrest Jesus and to judge, torture and crucify him. As Jesus hung on the cross of Calvary on Friday, he uttered the immortal words, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).
When Jesus died, he was taken from the cross and placed in the tomb, where he lay until his resurrection early Sunday morning. Then he repeatedly appeared bodily to his disciples, “to whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God” (Acts 1:3).
Then, while standing with his disciples on the Mount of Olives, “he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight” (Acts 1:9). Two men — apparently angels — assured the disciples, “ . . . [T]his same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:10, 11).
The Everlasting Covenant Fulfilled and Renewed
Thus Jesus, the covenantal God and “the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9), fulfilled all the promises of God (2 Corinthians 1:20). As the “corporate Person,”7 he bore the pedagogical consequences of his initial Creation and all the results of natural and moral evil that had occurred and would ever occur. Thus the everlasting covenant was not only fulfilled but eternally renewed. As the covenantal God himself declared, “ . . . [L]o, I AM with you alway . . .” (Matthew 28:20, emphasis supplied).8 Soon he will manifest his gifted presence (Acts 1:11), appear as the covenantal Judge (John 5:22, 27; 12:31; Hebrews 12:23), raise all who have died (Matthew 25:31, 32; John 12:32; 1 Corinthians 15:22; 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17), and transform all Creation into his covenantal likeness (2 Peter 3:13; cf. 2 Timothy 4:8).
. . . [W]e know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. — 1 John 3:2.
- See Tony Badillo, “The Floor Plan — Does It Reveal a Temple with a Human Form?” at www.templesecrets.info. (go back)
- See “The First Temple: United Monarchical Period,” Outlook (November 2001). (go back)
- See Stephen M. Wylen, The Jews in the Time of Jesus: An Introduction (New York: Paulist Press, 1996), p. 75. (go back)
- See “Galilean III: ‘Ornament of All Galilee,’” Outlook, Context for the Christ Event (2006.07). (go back)
- See “The Gospel for the PostmodernWorld III: The ‘Other Side’ of God,” Outlook (January 2008). (go back)
- See ibid. (go back)
- The term “corporate Person” here represents the embodied God, present and acting for, with and to human beings and to all Creation. (go back)
- See “The Gospel for the Postmodern World II: The ‘I AM,’” Outlook (December 2007). (go back)