What is the Story of Scripture?
Michael Wittmer on the Emmanuel theme of Scripture:
The story of Scripture is the story of “Emmanuel,” for it describes how God progressively comes to live with us on our planet, at each appearance staying longer and in more permanent form. God walked intermittently with Adam and Eve, coming and going as he deemed appropriate. By the time of the Exodus God had established a more permanent presence, leading his people as a pillar of fire by night and a cloud by day, the same cloud that remained to inhabit the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle and temple.None of these ethereal forms prepared the world for the surprising visit of Jesus Christ, who, according to Matthew 1:23, is the fulfillment of Emmanuel, for God now walked among us in tangible, human flesh. After Jesus’ ascension, the Day of Pentecost marks a further revelation of Emmanuel, for henceforth God the Holy Spirit will permanently though invisibly dwell within each of us. Finally, we read John’s thrilling conclusion in Revelation 21:1–4. Describing the descent of the New Jerusalem from heaven to the earth, John hears the voice of God saying: “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God” (v. 3).
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