Merry Christmas, dear friends! Over the next three days I invite you to lean in with me to the heart of Immanuel, He who promises to be with us. We’ll not dig deep, but will meditate together on the fullness of that special night when Christ our Savior was born. Join me on the journey!
Hebrew words often find their spellings in multiple ways in English. So, whether spelled Immanuel or Emmanuel, don’t get sidetracked! Spelling, in this case, is not important, but the truth behind the name is!
About 700 years before Jesus’ birth, the prophet Isaiah, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, wrote a prophecy containing this statement:
Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.~Isaiah 7:14
We know the name Immanuel means “God with us.” Yet, that promise didn’t suddenly appear in Isaiah 7! In the very beginning, God’s walked with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, even after they sinned! (Genesis 3:8) There was something in the heart of God that longed to be with His creation! Leviticus echoes that truth:
11 I will set My tabernacle among you, and My soul shall not abhor you. 12 I will walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people.~Leviticus 26:11-12
God Himself pitched His tent with the Israelites in the wilderness. Why? He wanted to dwell with His creation.
Throughout history, God’s desire has been to be with His people! He wanted it in ancient times, He wants it now, and He wants it in the future. The prophet Zechariah tells of a time when many nations will join Him and He will dwell in our midst! That’s the Millennial Kingdom. Check out the propehcy:
10 “Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion! For behold, I am coming and I will dwell in your midst,” says the Lord. 11 “Many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and they shall become My people. And I will dwell in your midst. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you.~Zechariah 2:10-11
Hundreds of years later, God sent an angel to Joseph with this message:
“Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”~Matthew 1:20-21
That idea was not a new one! Through the prophets, God had been sharing His desire to be with His creation for hundreds of years. The promise of Immanuel was fulfilled in the birth of Jesus! Behold! The virgin who was to bear a Son and name Him Immanuel, was the virgin Mary who brought forth that Son, Jesus!
Two important things occurred that night:
- Jesus was deified as God. “God with us” is Jesus.
- Jesus became man in order to tabernacle (dwell) among us, then die as a perfect sacrifice for our sins!
Hallelujah, celebrate Christmas! Jesus Christ is born, and God does, indeed, dwell with us!
More tomorrow, so see you then!