The Great Intersection: The Incarnation!

1. Introduction:



2. The Promise and the Expectation: "God will dwell among men"

It is He who sits above the vault of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in. (Is 40.22) cf. with "Thou has been our dwelling for all generations" (Ps 90) And the Lord was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. 22 He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people. (Ex 13.21,22)

And the angel of God, who had been going before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from before them and stood behind them. 20 So it came between the camp of Egypt and the camp of Israel; and there was the cloud along with the darkness, yet it gave light at night. Thus the one did not come near the other all night. (Ex 14.19f)

'Holy ground' (a different level of ethical or anti-chaos expectations)
  Take off your shoes (Ex 3.5; Josh 5.15) and have an 'out-house' (Deut 23.11).

The "breach against Uzzah" (2 Sam 6)
 

Epicenter of forces producing life, freedom, novelty, "true reality", and confrontation with depth.
  The Ark in Dagon's temple (I Sam 5)!
  Now the Philistines took the ark of God and brought it from Ebenezer to Ashdod. 2 Then the Philistines took the ark of God and brought it to the house of Dagon, and set it by Dagon. 3 When the Ashdodites arose early the next morning, behold, Dagon had fallen on his face to the ground before the ark of the Lord. So they took Dagon and set him in his place again. 4 But when they arose early the next morning, behold, Dagon had fallen on his face to the ground before the ark of the Lord. And the head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands were cut off on the threshold; only the trunk of Dagon was left to him. 5 Therefore neither the priests of Dagon nor all who enter Dagon's house tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod to this day. 6Now the hand of the Lord was heavy on the Ashdodites, and He ravaged them and smote them with tumors, both Ashdod and its territories. 7 When the men of Ashdod saw that it was so, they said, "The ark of the God of Israel must not remain with us, for His hand is severe on us and on Dagon our god."
 
 
Blessing on those in its vicinity (2 Sam 6: Obed-Edom the Gittite)
  Thus the ark of the Lord remained in the house of Obed-edom the Gittite three months, and the Lord blessed Obed-edom and all his household.
 
 
A "place" of transformation (the old "means of grace")
  And it came about when Moses was coming down from Mount Sinai (and the two tablets of the testimony were in Moses' hand as he was coming down from the mountain), that Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because of his speaking with Him. 30 So when Aaron and all the sons of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him. 31 Then Moses called to them, and Aaron and all the rulers in the congregation returned to him; and Moses spoke to them. 32 And afterward all the sons of Israel came near, and he commanded them to do everything that the Lord had spoken to him on Mount Sinai. 33 When Moses had finished speaking with them, he put a veil over his face. 34 But whenever Moses went in before the Lord to speak with Him, he would take off the veil until he came out; and whenever he came out and spoke to the sons of Israel what he had been commanded, 35 the sons of Israel would see the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses' face shone. So Moses would replace the veil over his face until he went in to speak with Him (Ex 34.29ff)

Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. (2 Cor 3.17)

The Promise that God would come to dwell on earth...
 

The passages are many...
  Is 4.4-6: When the Lord has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and purged the bloodshed of Jerusalem from her midst, by the spirit of judgment and the spirit of burning, 5 then the Lord will create over the whole area of Mount Zion and over her assemblies a cloud by day, even smoke, and the brightness of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory will be a canopy.

Is 24.23: Then the moon will be abashed and the sun ashamed, For the Lord of hosts will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, And His glory will be before His elders.

Is 25.9: And it will be said in that day, "Behold, this is our God for whom we have waited that He might save us. This is the Lord for whom we have waited; Let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation."

Is 35.3-6: Encourage the exhausted, and strengthen the feeble. 4 Say to those with anxious heart, "Take courage, fear not. Behold, your God will come with vengeance; The recompense of God will come, But He will save you." 5 Then the eyes of the blind will be opened, And the ears of the deaf will be unstopped. 6 Then the lame will leap like a deer, And the tongue of the dumb will shout for joy...

IS 40.3-5, 9-11: A voice is calling, "Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness; Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God. 4 "Let every valley be lifted up, And every mountain and hill be made low; And let the rough ground become a plain, And the rugged terrain a broad valley; 5 Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed, And all flesh will see it together; For the mouth of the Lord has spoken."... Get yourself up on a high mountain, O Zion, bearer of good news, Lift up your voice mightily, O Jerusalem, bearer of good news; Lift it up, do not fear. Say to the cities of Judah, "Here is your God!" 10 Behold, the Lord God will come with might, With His arm ruling for Him. Behold, His reward is with Him, And His recompense before Him. 11 Like a shepherd He will tend His flock, In His arm He will gather the lambs, And carry them in His bosom; He will gently lead the nursing ewes.

IS 59.15-21: Now the Lord saw, And it was displeasing in His sight that there was no justice. 16 And He saw that there was no man, And was astonished that there was no one to intercede; Then His own arm brought salvation to Him; And His righteousness upheld Him. 17 And He put on righteousness like a breastplate, And a helmet of salvation on His head; And He put on garments of vengeance for clothing, And wrapped Himself with zeal as a mantle. 18 According to their deeds, so He will repay, Wrath to His adversaries, recompense to His enemies; To the coastlands He will make recompense. 19 So they will fear the name of the Lord from the west And His glory from the rising of the sun, For He will come like a rushing stream, Which the wind of the Lord drives. 20 "And a Redeemer will come to Zion, And to those who turn from transgression in Jacob," declares the Lord.

Is 62.10-11: Go through, go through the gates; Clear the way for the people; Build up, build up the highway; Remove the stones, lift up a standard over the peoples. 11 Behold, the Lord has proclaimed to the end of the earth, Say to the daughter of Zion, "Lo, your salvation comes; Behold His reward is with Him, and His recompense before Him."

Is 63.1-5: Who is this who comes from Edom, With garments of glowing colors from Bozrah, This One who is majestic in His apparel, Marching in the greatness of His strength? "It is I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save." 2 Why is Your apparel red, And Your garments like the one who treads in the wine press? 3 "I have trodden the wine trough alone, And from the peoples there was no man with Me. I also trod them in My anger, And trampled them in My wrath; And their lifeblood is sprinkled on My garments, And I stained all My raiment. 4 "For the day of vengeance was in My heart, And My year of redemption has come. 5 "And I looked, and there was no one to help, And I was astonished and there was no one to uphold; So My own arm brought salvation to Me; And My wrath upheld Me.

Is 66.18: For I know their works and their thoughts; the time is coming to gather all nations and tongues. And they shall come and see My glory.

Ezek 43.7-9: And He said to me, "Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell among the sons of Israel forever. And the house of Israel will not again defile My holy name, neither they nor their kings, by their harlotry and by the corpses of their kings when they die, 8 by setting their threshold by My threshold, and their door post beside My door post, with only the wall between Me and them. And they have defiled My holy name by their abominations which they have committed. So I have consumed them in My anger. 9 "Now let them put away their harlotry and the corpses of their kings far from Me; and I will dwell among them forever.

Zech 2.4-5: and said to him, "Run, speak to that young man, saying, 'Jerusalem will be inhabited without walls, because of the multitude of men and cattle within it. 5 'For I,' declares the Lord, 'will be a wall of fire around her, and I will be the glory in her midst.'"

Zech 2: 10-12[!]:"Sing for joy and be glad, O daughter of Zion; for behold I am coming and I will dwell in your midst," declares the Lord. 11 "And many nations will join themselves to the Lord in that day and will become My people. Then I will dwell in your midst, and you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you. 12 "And the Lord will possess Judah as His portion in the holy land, and will again choose Jerusalem.

Zech 8.3: Thus says the Lord, 'I will return to Zion and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth, and the mountain of the Lord of hosts will be called the Holy Mountain.'

Zech 14.4-8,16: And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south. 5 And you will flee by the valley of My mountains, for the valley of the mountains will reach to Azel; yes, you will flee just as you fled before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord, my God, will come, and all the holy ones with Him! 6 And it will come about in that day that there will be no light; the luminaries will dwindle. 7 For it will be a unique day which is known to the Lord, neither day nor night, but it will come about that at evening time there will be light. 8 And it will come about in that day that living waters will flow out of Jerusalem, half of them toward the eastern sea and the other half toward the western sea; it will be in summer as well as in winter...Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths.

Mal 3.1: Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming," says the Lord of hosts.

Ps 96.12-13 (and 98.9): Let the field exult, and all that is in it. Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy 13 Before the Lord, for He is coming; For He is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness, And the peoples in His faithfulness.
 
 

And the Jew of Jesus' day (and later) still saw this as future...
  I Enoch 1.3-4, 9:
  "The god of the universe, the holy great one will come forth from his dwelling. And from there he will march upon mount Sinai and appear in his camp emerging from heaven with a mighty power...Behold, he will arrive with ten million of the holy ones in order to execute judgment upon all."
 
Testament of Moses 10.1, 3, 7; 12.13:
  "This his kingdom will appear throughout his whole creation...For the heavenly one will arise from his kingly throne. Yea, he will go forth from his holy habitation with indignation and wrath on behalf of his sons...For God most high will surge forth, the eternal one alone. In full view will he come to work vengeance on the nations. Yea, all their idols will he destroy...For God, who has foreseen all things in the world, will go forth, and his covenant which was established.
 
Jubilees 1.26-28:
  "'I shall descend and dwell with them in all the ages of eternity.' And he said to the angel of the presence, 'Write for Moses from the first creation until my sanctuary is built in their midst for ever and ever. And the LORD will appear in the sight of all. And everyone will know that I am the God of Israel and the father of all the children of Jacob and king upon Mount Zion for ever and ever. And Zion and Jerusalem will be holy.
 
(Dead Sea Scrolls) 11Q19 29.3-9:
  "In the house above which I shall make my name reside [they shall offer] the holocausts...continually, from the children of Israel, besides their freewill offerings...They shall be for me a people and I will be for them for ever and I shall establish them for ever and always. I shall sanctify my temple with my glory, for I shall make my glory reside over it until the day of creation, when I shall create my temple, establishing it for myself for ever, in accordance with the covenant with I made with Jacob at Bethel.
 
Pesiqta Rabbati 146-147, 9th century AD:
  And the Holy One, blessed be He, will stand on top of it [The Mount of Olives], and it will split open, and they [the exiles] will come up from it...
 
Even though YHWH would also 'visit' His people in the person of the deliverers, most of the above passages refer to YHWH Himself.

The problem of plurality in Jewish thought (the Angel of YHWH and the Son of Man)
 

    The "Sharing the Throne of God" problem: Daniel 7
      I kept looking until thrones were set up, And the Ancient of Days took His seat; His vesture was like white snow, And the hair of His head like pure wool. His throne was ablaze with flames, Its wheels were a burning fire. 10 "A river of fire was flowing And coming out from before Him; Thousands upon thousands were attending Him, And myriads upon myriads were standing before Him;

    I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him. 14 "And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, That all the peoples, nations, and men of every language Might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away; And His kingdom is one Which will not be destroyed.
     

    Examples in Jewish Literature
      The LXX translated "came to the Ancient of Days" as "came as the Ancient of Days"

    The Similitudes of Enoch [2nd century BC-1 AD] portray the same (I Enoch 62.1-5 and 51.1f):
     

    "Thus the Lord commanded the kings and the mighty and the exalted, and those who dwell upon the earth, and said, 'Open your eyes, and raise your horns, if you are able to acknowledge the Chosen One. And the Lord of Spirits sat on the throne of his glory, and the spirit of righteousness was poured out on him, and the word of his mouth kills all the sinners and all the lawless, and they are destroyed before him. And on that day all the kings and the mighty and the exalted and those who possess the earth, will stand up; and they will see and recognize how he sits on the throne of his glory, and the righteous are judged in righteousness before him, and no idle word is spoken before him. And pain will come upon them as upon a woman in labour...And pain will take hold of them, when they see that Son of Man sitting on the throne of his glory." [Notice the blending of Ps 110, Daniel 7, and maybe Zech 12.10 here.]

    "In those days, Sheol will return all the deposits which she had received and hell will give back all that which it owes. And he shall choose the righteous and the holy ones from among the risen dead, for the day when they shall be selected and saved has arrived. And In those days, the Elect One shall sit on my throne, and form the conscience of his mouth shall come out all the secrets of wisdom, for the Lord of the Spirits has given them to him and glorified him. In those days, mountains shall dance like rams; and the hills shall leap like kids satiated with milk. And the faces of all the angels in heaven shall glow with joy, because on that day the Elect One has arisen. And the earth shall rejoice; and the righteous ones shall dwell upon her and the elect ones shall walk upon her.
     

    The Dead Sea Scrolls sometimes speak of 'the throne of His glory' and sometimes of the 'thrones of His glory' (11Q17).

    The Apocalyse of Abraham (1-2 century ad) has the Angel of YHWH (who carries the Name of YHWH within him) being addressed in this song of worship by Abraham (17.8ff):
     

    "Eternal One, Mighty One, Holy El, God autocrat, self-originate, incorruptible, immaculate, unbegotten, spotless, immortal, self-perfected, self-devised, without mother, without father, ungenerated, exalted, fiery, just, lover of men, benevolent, compassionate, bountiful, jealous over me, patient one, most merciful, Eli, eternal, mighty one, holy, Sabaoth, most glorious El, El, El, El, Iaoil (the name of the Angel of YHWH in ethiopic), you are he my soul has loved, my protector."
     
    The Angel of YHWH was called Metatron in latter Jewish writings, and controversies about His deity abounded in the literature--they frankly did not know what to do with this plurality!:
      "A Sadducee said to R. Idith, 'It is written, 'And unto Moses He said, Come up unto the Lord'. It ought to have stated, 'Come up unto Me'! He replied, 'The speaker was Metatron, whose name is the same as his Master's, for it is written, 'My name is in him' 'In that case,' said the Sadducee, 'we ought to pray to him!' 'No,' was the Rabbi's answer, 'for the context declares.' Do not exchange (Me) for him.'" 'If that is so, why does the verse continue, 'For He will not pardon your transgression?'" "I assure you" the Rabbi answered, 'we did not accept him even as a forerunner, for it is written, 'If Thy (God's) presence go not with me, carry us up not hence'" (Sanh 38b)
     
    The Testament of Abraham [1-2nd Century AD] has a man sitting on the throne of God [12.4ff]:
      "And between the two gates there stood a terrifying throne with the appearance of terrifying crystal, flashing like fire. And upon it sat a wondrous man, bright as the sun, like unto a son of God...And the wondrous man who sat on the throne was the one who judged and sentenced the souls..."
     
    The Rabbis were always having to deal with the issue of 'Two Powers in Heaven"

    Metatron is called "the lesser YHWH' in 4-5 century AD works [3 Enoch 12]:
     

    "R. Ismael said: Metratron, Prince of the Divine Presence, said to me: Out of the love which he had for me, more than for all the denizens of the heights, the Holy One, blessed be he, fashioned for me a majestic robe, in which all kinds of luminaries were set, and he clothed me in it...He fashioned for me a kingly crown in which 49 refulgent stones were placed, each like the sun's orb, and its brilliance shone into the four quarters of the heaven of Arabot, into the seven heavens, and into the four quarters of the world. He set it upon my head and he called me, 'The lesser YHWH' in the presence of his whole household in the height, as it is written, 'My name is in him'"
     
    Philo of Alexandria, in Questions on Genesis [II.62] calls the Logos a 'second theos':
      "Very appropriately and without any falsehood was this oracular sentence uttered by God, for no mortal thing could have been formed on the similitude of the supreme Father of the universe, but only after the pattern of the second deity, who is the Word of the supreme Being; since it is fitting that the rational soul of man should bear it the type of the divine Word; since in his first Word God is superior to the most rational possible nature."
     
    One of the greatest Rabbis in Israel's early history--Rabbi Akiba--believed at least for a while that a human figure would literally share the throne with YHWH [b. Sanh 38b]!:
      "Till thrones were placed, and one that was ancient of days did sit' (Dan 7.9) Wy thrones? We have been taught; One for Himself and one for David. Such was the opinion of R. Akiva. R. Yose protested: Akiva, how long will you profane the Presence? One throne is for justice and the other for mercy. So R. Akiva accepted R. Yose's interpretation..."
     
    Paul's use of the Shema and explicit monotheistic passages.
      The Shema of Deut 6.4: Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! With I Cor 8.6: For even if there are so-called gods whether in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords, 6 yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things, and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.

    Is 45.23: I have sworn by Myself, The word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness And will not turn back, That to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance. With Philp 2.10-11: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.


3. The Absolute Uniqueness of Jesus



4. The Self-Awareness of Jesus

The "Ridiculous if not God" statements!
  John 16.15: All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said, that He takes of Mine, and will disclose it to you.

John 17.10: All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them.

John 8.57: The Jews therefore said to Him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?" 58 Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am."

John 5.20: For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and greater works than these will He show Him, that you may marvel.

John 14.6: Jesus *said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.

John 14.28: You heard that I said to you, 'I go away, and I will come to you.' If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced, because I go to the Father; for the Father is greater than I.

John 15.5f: I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing. 6 “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch, and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

Matt 12.1ff:At that time Jesus went on the Sabbath through the grainfields, and His disciples became hungry and began to pick the heads of grain and eat. 2 But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to Him, “Behold, Your disciples do what is not lawful to do on a Sabbath.” 3 But He said to them,“Have you not read what David did, when he became hungry, he and his companions; 4 how he entered the house of God, and they ate the consecrated bread, which was not lawful for him to eat, nor for those with him, but for the priests alone? 5 “Or have you not read in the Law, that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple break the Sabbath, and are innocent? 6 “But I say to you, that something greater than the temple is here.
 

David's Lord - the 'trap' for the Pharisees (above)

Greater than angels:
 

Mark 13.32: But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. Self-based authority - the "I say unto you" passages (above)

He went after the true enemy--the Ruler of the Age
 

And the seventy returned with joy, saying, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name." 18 And He said to them, "I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning. (Luke 10.17)

And this woman, a daughter of Abraham as she is, whom Satan has bound for eighteen long years, should she not have been released from this bond on the Sabbath day?" (Luke 13.16)

Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; 32 but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers." (Luke 22.31)

Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world shall be cast out. (John 12.31)

But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper shall not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. 8 "And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgment; 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you no longer behold Me; 11 and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged. (John 16.7f)

But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 29 "Or how can anyone enter the strong man's house and carry off his property, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house. (Matt 12.28)

5. "Fully God and Fully Man"

The "neuro-biology/psychology" of the Incarnation
  We don't know enough about agency and consciousness to really argue with this!

But...we DO know of implicit processes and the 'many selves' aspect

We can choose to suppress knowledge



6. The Result of the Great Intersection

But the responses to this great Intersection were not all positive...But this was the One who can trade in 'Futures' for us...but that's the next bus stop...(smile)

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