God shines from Zion

tree-77271_640Psalm 50:2: Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines forth.

Zion is the church, the dwelling place of God.

When Jesus cried that it is finished and gave up the ghost on the cross, the veil of the temple, separating the holy from the most holy place was torn from top to the bottom (Matthew 27:50-51). There is an implication of that event on how God would from then on change in his relationship with man.

When the psalmist wrote the focus verse, the temple was located in Zion (the city of David, a city which David, the revered king of Israel, conquered for himself) was the focal point of the presence of God. Everyone who wants to have any serious thing to do with God have to go all the way to the Jerusalem, to the temple. They depended on the priesthood hierarchy for whatever they needed to do with God.

But with the death of Jesus and the tearing of the veil, Jesus sacked the order of the priesthood, there is no need to send someone to God again, the direct access has been made. That veil was torn. The writer of the book of Hebrews said that the veil stood for the physical body of Jesus, which was torn, and the veil was thereafter torn as a reflection of that (Hebrews 10:20).

God’s relationship with man was redefined on the cross, it was no longer going to be based on the blood of bulls and goat, that restrictive covenant which only covered the children of Israel, but now based on a new covenant based on the blood of Jesus.

So history was turned on its head when the veil of the temple got torn. With the death of Jesus and the issue of sin taken care of, God did not have any reason to stay hidden behind the veil because of his holiness demand, since the blood of Jesus has now cleansed us from all sins. God could not wait to relocate from the confines of the temple to the confines of the hearts of men, which he did with the sacrifice of Jesus.

Jesus (when telling his disciples about the Holy Spirit who will be his replacement in their lives) said that the Holy Spirit was with them (through the presence of the Holy Spirit in the life of Jesus) and he will be in them when he (Jesus) lives (John 14:17).

God by the Holy Spirit comes into us. In that sense we are Zion, but not in strict sense. In a strict sense the church is the Zion; it is the body of Christ. The writer of the book of Hebrews says that when we become believers, we come to mount Zion the city of the living God, to Jesus, whose blood speaks better than the blood of Abel (Hebrews 12:24).

The bible says that when we become Christians we become members of the body of Christ with him our head (Ephesians 5:23). We exist as united with Christ. In a prophecy in the book of Psalms, it was declared that Jesus will stretch forth the rod of his strength out of Zion and he will rule in the midst of his enemies (Psalm 110). And since Christ as the head is ruling through the church in this age that shows that real Zion is the church, out of which God shines forth. He shines forth his glory, his knowledge and his power.

The glory of God is everything about him that describes his transcendence, his elevated essence. It also has to do with his otherworldliness, his divine nature. God shines his glory from the church, through the group of the redeemed; because we are a special people, and bearers of his glory, because the Holy Spirit is a Spirit of glory (1Peter 4:17).

When Jesus was about to go to heaven, he said that he has given us the glory that he had with God in the beginning (John 17:22). He wanted us to share in his glory in his divine nature as children of God, carrying his identity on this earth. We read that God’s divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and goodness (2Peter 1:3).

Isaiah said that at the last days the mountain of the Lord’s house (church) will be lifted on the top of the mountains, that means it will be glorified and that glory will be a point of attraction (Isaiah 2:1-3). And when darkness comes upon the people of the earth, the glory of God will be seen on His people (Isaiah 60:1-3). Then we will hear the call to arise and shine for our light has come and the glory of God has risen upon us, the glory of God will mark us: mark our undertakings, our lives. The bible says in another place that the glory of the latter house of God shall be greater than the former, which means the house of God is meant to be marked by his glory, either now or in the future (Haggai 2:9).

Habakkuk said that the knowledge of the glory of God will cover the earth as the water cover the sea (Habakkuk 2:14), while Isaiah said something similar said that the knowledge of God shall fill the earth as the water cover the sea (Isaiah 11:9). The church communicates the knowledge of God; it is the place was the revelation of who God is; it is the pillar and ground of truth (1Timothy 3:15). Jesus told his people, it is given to you to know the secret of the kingdom of God.

The scriptures are called the oracles of God (Romans 3:2). They are God’s guideposts for living. It is clear that it takes the revelation of the Spirit to know God (1Corinthians 2:9-16). The bible says that the Spirit searches the things of God, the deep things of God. The things of God have to do with his knowledge, knowing what he knows and seeing things from his perspective.

God revealed his power through the church. Of Jesus it was said your people shall be willing in the day of your power. Jesus is the head of all principalities and powers because of the church (Colossians 2:10). He empowers the church and he is the power within the church, by the Holy Spirit.

Summary

God shines forth from Zion in three ways of glory, knowledge and power, which are intertwined many times. There is the knowledge of his glory, God is said to be glorious in power and Paul said the knowledge of God he reveals through preaching is in the demonstration of power (1Corinthians 2:4).

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