The story of the Bible is the narrative of God coming to be with his people as their Lord, in his control, authority, and presence. After creation and fall, the story is about redemption, and thus about Jesus.
John Frame, Doctrine of the Christian Life, 273.
I like the inclusion of God’s presence in his description of the story. Here is how I would trace the theme of God’s presence through Scripture in a thumbnail sketch:
At the Fall, mankind was thrust out from the presence of God (Gen. 3:8, 23f.). The covenant with Abraham, however, contained hope that God would one day dwell with men again (Gen. 17:8). The Tabernacle/Temple was a first step toward permitting God and man to dwell together again (c.f. Exo. 25:8; 29:35). But the Tabernacle/Temple was deficient (cf. Heb. 8:7) in that it restricted people from God’s presence even as it symbolized His presence. Furthermore, God’s presence could be lost through sin.
The themes of God’s presence, the Spirit, and the temple converge in the prophet Ezekiel. Ezekiel was given a vision of the presence of God departing from the temple in judgment upon the people’s sins (11:22-23). This is followed by the promise of God’s indwelling presence, which will remedy Israel’s sin problem (36:27; 37:14). This, in turn, is followed by a vision of a coming Temple named יהוה שמה.
The incarnation of Jesus was a major step toward fulfilling Ezekiel’s vision. Jesus was Ἐμμανουήλ, “God with us” (Matt. 1:23). Or as John put it, “The Word became flesh and dwelt [ἐσκήνωσεν] among us” (John 1:14).
Jesus’ ascension was not, however, a redemptive-historical step backward “It is to your advantage that I go away,” Jesus tells the disciples, “for if I do not go away, the παράκλητος will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you” (John 16:7). This verse recalls John 7:39. There is a giving/sending of the Spirit that could only happen after Jesus was glorified and gone away. The farewell discourse links this giving of the Spirit with continued presence of God among men.
Paul continues to connects the concepts of temple and the indwelling presence of the Spirit. In 1 Corinthians 3:16 he speaks to the local church as “God’s temple.” He tells them that “God’s Spirit dwells in you.” He makes a similar statement about the individual Christian in 1 Corinthians 6:19. In these passages the dwelling of the Holy Spirit in the church or the believer is motivation for holiness, which connects well with the new covenant promises that the Spirit will transform the lives of those in the new covenant (Eze. 36:27).
The New Jerusalem is the ultimate fulfillment of the expectation of the more-than-restored presence of God. “Its temple is the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb” (Rev. 21:22). God will dwell with man for eternity.