(A few thoughts, observations, and questions from a bit of reading today…)
In John’s vision of the glorified Christ, Jesus has bronze feet, a golden girdle, a face shining like the sun, and hair as white as wool and snow, etc. (Rev. 1:12-18). All of this was seen by the apostle after he had been summoned by a “sound like a trumpet.” This seems to me like tabernacle imagery. Consider the brazen altar, the gold of the holy place, and the shining glory of the cloud in the Sanctum Sanctorum.
Could it be that John is presenting Jesus as the consummate tabernacle? This would not be a new line of thinking for the apostle. His gospel is structured like a virtual tour through the tabernacle, he speaks of the incarnation of Christ as a “tabernacling,” and he argues that Jesus is the true Temple.
The Old Humanity – “His own did not received Him” Chapters 1-12
I. Introduction (1:1-18)
II. Cleansing of the Old Humanity – Laver of Cleansing (Ch. 1-5)
III. Feeding the Old Humanity – Table of Showbread (Ch. 6-7)
IV. Light of the World – Lampstand (Ch. 8-12)
The New Humanity – “As many as received Him” Chapters 13-21
I. Foot Washing – Laver of Cleansing (Ch. 13)
II. The Last Supper – Table of Showbread (Ch. 13)
III. The Holy Spirit – Lampstand (Ch. 14-16)
IV. High Priestly Prayer – Altar of Incense (Ch. 17)
V. Crucifixion – Bronze Altar (18-19)
VI. Resurrection – Holy of Holies (20)
All of the themes of sacrifice, worship, judgment, covenant, communion, exodus, Torah, and kingdom are located here in Jesus—the tabernacle which the Lord pitched.
One the heels of this image, the Churches are addressed and are instructed to be victorious overcomers. They are then told that their success or failure will garner the appropriate rewards or retributions.
This seems to run parallel to the twenty-first chapter; the Bride appears, the tabernacle of God is among them, they are instructed to be victorious overcomers, attendant blessings or curses, etc.
And good Calvinists don’t believe in coincidences. 😉