Thursday, January 22, 2009

"For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily." Colossians 2:9

The temple erected by Solomon in Jerusalem, and the tabernacle set up by Moses in the wilderness were but types of the true temple, the Lord of life and glory. The Lord himself said, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up," speaking of his own body. All the beauty and glory of the temple were, therefore, figurative; they typified and shadowed forth the glory of Immanuel, for "in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily."

God the Son has taken to himself a body, according to those words in the fortieth Psalm, as quoted by Paul (Hebrews 10:5): "a body hast thou prepared me;" a holy body, a sinless, spotless body. According to those words: "Therefore that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God;" and not only a holy body, but united to it a holy, spotless soul. "He shall see of the travail of his soul, and be satisfied." "My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death" (Matthew 26:38). This holy body, as united with a holy soul, the two forming his spotless human nature, the Son of God took into union with himself, and thus became the God-man, Immanuel, God with us.

It is this glorious mystery of godliness that a living soul pants to know. We cannot approach pure Godhead; we cannot understand it; it is a mystery too high and too deep for us; for who, "by searching, can find out God? It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know?" (Job 11:7, 8.)

But when God would make himself known to the children of men, he made himself known by his only begotten Son, the second Person in the glorious Godhead, taking into union with himself the flesh and blood of the children; and thus we can, so far as the Lord gives us faith, approach to an invisible God through the visible God-man; as John says, "We beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." "No man hath seen God at any time: the only begotten Son which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him." And, therefore, when Philip said to him (John 14:8), "Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us;" Jesus said, "Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?" And why, but because as he says in another place, "I and my Father are one."

The desire, then, of every living soul (I am sure it is my desire when the Lord is pleased to work it in my heart) is to be led by the Spirit of God into an acquaintance with the God-man; to behold the glory of God in Jesus Christ; to see the Godhead shining through the manhood, and yet to see the manhood veiling and yet deriving glory from the Godhead; and thus to come to Jesus as a high priest that is able to save to the uttermost all that come unto God by him; to feel nearness of access to the Father by approaching him through the Son of his love; and thus to enjoy sweet communion with Immanuel, God with us, God in our nature, God making himself known by taking our flesh and blood into union with himself.