Why does John say that the Word became flesh and dwelt (pitched a tent; tabernacled) among us? The NET Bible says: “The Greek word translated took up residence alludes to the OT tabernacle, where the Shekinah, the visible glory of God’s presence, resided. The author is suggesting that this glory can now be seen in Jesus.”
A. W. Pink lists ten ways that the tabernacle in the Old Testament prefigures (theologians call this an Anti-type, but that never really made sense to me) Christ. A few of the more significant ones are:
- The tabernacle was a temporary appointment—Christ was on the earth temporarily
- The tabernacle was God’s dwelling place—Christ was God in the flesh
- The tabernacle was the place where the Law was preserved—Pink: “Throughout His perfect life He preserved in thought, word and deed, the Divine Decalogue, honoring and magnifying God’s Law [he means the Ten Commandments for those of us who never could understand number prefixes; now what was the number prefix for 7? Hepta? Octa? Sexta? Who can remember that stuff?].
- The tabernacle was the place of worship—Pink: It is in Him, and by Him, alone, that we can worship the Father. It is through Him we have access to the throne of grace.