MATTHEW 1:22-23: “All of this took place to bring about what the Lord had said would happen. He had said through the prophet, “The virgin is going to have a baby. She will give birth to a son. And he will be called Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14) The name Immanuel means “God with us.” (NIRV)
OBSERVATION: “God with us!” Three simple, but life changing words. In these three words the debate of the ages is laid to rest. Does God love us? Is God involved in the daily affairs of men? Does God understand our suffering and plight? Does God really care?
Christmas is a resounding “YES” to all of these questions!
God created man and gave him every provision, including the provision of “free will”. Man has continued throughout the centuries to misuse the loving provision of “free will”. Left to himself, man continues to choose the wrong path, the wrong action, and the wrong destiny for his life. God gave us His Law, but it only magnified mankind’s sin. It was not that the Law was flawed, but rather that we were exceedingly sinful. God gave us His prophets to call us to repentance. Yet, we killed His messengers and continued on our pathway of self destruction. God could have wiped mankind off the face of the earth completely, but His love provided a different response.
Christmas is that response of love!
God Himself, the eternal Word, humbled Himself, and became a man. He could have come to the earth as a full grown man, with glory, honor, and power. Yet, He chose to come as a humble new born baby. He was not born in a royal palace, but in a humble stall. He was not wrapped in purples robes and linen, but in simple rags of the poor. He was not visited initially by those in positions of prominence and authority, but by humble shepherds, and common farm animals. Jesus came in such a humble manner that most people missed Immanuel’s entrance into the world. Yet – He had come!
Jesus came to experience every trial, difficulty, joy, and experience that we all share in our daily lives. He lived in obscurity for almost 30 years. Learning a humble trade, He remained obedient to the Father until His appointed time. And when this appointed time came, He did not rise up on a mighty throne, but was lifted up on a cruel cross. For God had not come to reign among us, but to die for us. From the manger to the cross, it was God with us, it was Immanuel. Jesus lived among us humbly, obedientally, sacrificially serving, loving, and forgiving us.
This is the wonder of Christmas!
This is the promise of Immanuel!
And now, having paid the full penalty for our sin on the cross, and having defeated the power of death through His resurrection, He is still Immanuel – God with us. He does not daily walk with us in the marketplace, but He lives with us, and in us, through the wonderful gift of the Holy Spirit. He has come to abide with us until the restoration of all things when the full purposes of Immanuel will be realized!
- “I heard a loud voice from the throne. It said, “Now God makes his home with people. He will live with them. They will be his people. And God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or sadness. There will be no more crying or pain. Things are no longer the way they used to be.” Revelation 21:3-4 NIRV
Lord, thank You for coming to be with us and in us! This Christmas Day – I give You praise for all that is wrapped up in the wonder of Your Name – Immanuel!
In Jesus Name!