And the name of the city from that time on shall be, “The Lord Is There.” Ezekiel 48:35
You remember how, in after ages, when Solomon was crowned and his reign of peace had been inaugurated, he built for God a temple adorned with gold and precious stones, and all manner of cunning, work of the artificer; but it was not that glittering roof, it was not those massive pillars of brass in the forefront, it was not the hecatombs of bullocks whose blood was poured forth at the altar, which were the glory of the temple on Mount Zion. Beautiful for situation, it was the joy of the whole earth; but its glory lay in this—“God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.” The excellence of the temple was seen when, on the opening day, the Lord revealed himself, and the cloud filled the house of the Lord, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of the Lord.” Little remains for man to do when in very deed the Lord dwells in the midst of his saints. Apart from priests and ceremonies, that place is sacred wherein the Lord Most High hath his abode. Say of any place “Jehovah-shammah, the Lord is there,” and be it tent or temple, you have spoken glorious things of it.
I almost tremble while I remind you of the truest temple of God—the body of our Lord.
The nearest approach of Godhead to our manhood was when there was found, wrapped in swaddling bands and lying in a manger, that child who was born, that Son who was given whose name was called “Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” As for thee, O Bethlehem favored above all the towns of earth, out of thee he came, who is Immanuel, God with us! Verily thy name is Jehovah-shammah. All along, through thirty years and more of holy labor, ending in a shameful death, God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself. In the gloom of Gethsemane, among those sombre olives, when Jesus bowed, and in his prayer sweat, as it were, great drops of blood falling to the ground, he was “seen of angels” as the Son of God bearing human sin. Speak of Gethsemane, and we tell you God was there. Before Herod, and Pilate, and Caiaphas, and on the cross—the Lord was there. Though in a sense there was the hiding of God, and Jesus cried, “Why hast thou forsaken me?” yet in the deepest sense Jehovah was there, bruising the great sacrifice. The thick darkness made a veil for the Lord of glory, and behind it he that made all things bowed his head and said, “It is finished.” God was in Christ Jesus on the cross, and we, beholding him, feel that we have seen the Father. O Calvary, we say of thee, “The Lord is there.”