Merry Christmas, dear ones! May the joy of Christmas fill your hearts and homes this evening and tomorrow as you celebrate our Savior’s birth!
We began a 3-part series yesterday, meditating on God’s desire and promise to be with His creation. Immanuel means “God with us,” and the idea was God’s from the very beginning! Before diving into today’s meditation, I encourage you to check out yesterday’s She will Call His Name Immanuel…God with Us.
God with us. Why does it matter, and what’s the big deal?
Not only did God come in human form as a baby born in a manger, but He came fulfilling prophecy! Yet, the Jewish people, of whom He was one, did not recognize His deity. They knew the Old Testament prophecies about God coming to dwell with them, and about all the specific details concerning where He was to be born, to whom, and under what circumstances. Even still, Jesus did not come in a way they had conjured up in their minds, thus, they would not allow themselves to consider Him to be God. You might say He was disguised.
To illustrate, consider a once popular American TV series, Undercover Boss. In it, the owner or a top executive of a company would disguise himself and go undercover to his own place of business, as though applying for a job. During those episodes, that executive learned all kinds of things about the company, the management, the employees, the culture, etc, all because employees failed to recognize him!
In a sense, that is how Jesus came. Not to spy on us, but to dwell with us. However, Old Testament prophecy foretold of a king, one who would save the Jewish people (and the world) from tyranny. They believed the coming king would rescue them from the tyranny of an oppressive Roman government that often ruled with an iron fist. Yet, the tyranny Jesus came to destroy was the guilt of sin, so they didn’t recognize Him or His mission!
They didn’t expect their king to be born in a cave, or for a common Jewish carpenter (more likely a stonemason) later to claim to be God. That was simply blasphemous! How would this commoner ever defeat the mighty Romans?
Furthermore, the idea of a virgin giving birth, despite prophesies that predicted it, was just too unbelievable. Some would say outrageous! But, God is not bound by normal, predictive or believable! This was simply further evidence of deity! It was impossible apart from God!
The glory of God was manifest that night, and would carry on throughout Jesus’ earthly life as He gave us a glimpse through human eyes of the Godhead! Yet, God’s glory exists eternally past, present and future.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. … 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.~John 14:1-3, 14
It was through the birth of Jesus Christ that God’s glory was manifest to us in a special way. This Christmas, may the glory of our Lord and Savior be fresh in your heart and mind as you celebrate His birth!
Come back tomorrow as we wrap up this Christmas series focusing on the blessing of “God with us.”