Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Throughout all their journeys, whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the people of Israel would set out. But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not set out till the day that it was taken up. For the cloud of the Lord was on the tabernacle by day, and fire was in it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel throughout all their journeys. Exodus 40:34-38 ESV
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:3-4 ESV
Have you ever met the President of the United States? How about the Queen of England and of the UK? Not many people get to meet such famous and important people in their life. Leaders of large nations have important jobs to do and many people to consider. They are busy. They couldn’t possibly meet everyone in the countries they lead. The White House, Windsor Castle, and places in other nations where the leaders live are also not places everyone has a chance to visit. Most people have to be content with seeing their leaders on TV or the internet or in the newspaper.
When God’s people, Israel, traveled in the wilderness, they built a tabernacle for God. Of course, God is everywhere, but after the tabernacle was finished he brought his presence to the tabernacle in the pillar of cloud and fire. When this happened, the people knew that God was there for them. However, they couldn’t get close to God. They needed to keep their distance because of his holiness and their sins. Only the high priest could go into the Most Holy Place of the tabernacle once a year. The rest of the people could only go into the tabernacle courtyard and know that they were near the place where God was in a special way.
Everything changed when Jesus came into the world. Jesus was God come in a human person. People could see and hear him, touch him, and learn from him. Jesus was God come to be close to people. He came to take away our sins on the cross so that nothing will ever stand between us and God again. This same Jesus is with us today. He talks to us in his Word and hears our prayers. We also know that someday we will live in his new heavenly kingdom. This is the place where God will be close to all of his people forever. God will be with us, and there will be no more sadness or pain or death.
Dear Jesus, thank you for coming to be with us. Please forgive our sins and take us to live in your new heavenly kingdom in the end. Amen.