The word Immanuel – which means God with us – should blow our minds. If you stop and really think about it, your head might hurt. You might think, “I don’t even understand what God is like.” Or “Why would God want to be with messed-up humans, many of whom don’t acknowledge Him, hate Him, or live their lives like He doesn’t matter?”
Let’s go back to the prophecy in the Old Testament book of Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” In describing the birth of Jesus several hundred years later, Matthew invokes Isaiah in the first chapter, “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ (which means ‘God with us’).”
So . . . first of all, what is God like? If you get to know Jesus, you’ll understand more what God the Father is like. In the New Testament book of Colossians chapter 1 it says, “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.” And in the New Testament book of Hebrews chapter 1 the writer states, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being.” Know Jesus, know God the father. God is indescribable: see youtube.com/watch?v=yzqTFNfeDnE).
So . . . why would God want to be born into the world to be with us? Because He loves us so much. Everyone sins and these sins separate us from God. The way of forgiveness is through sacrifice. In the Old Testament, the Jewish people sacrificed animals to make it right between them and God. Hebrews chapter 2 says that Jesus shared in our humanity so that by His death, He broke the power of sin that leads to our death. He was made like us, “fully human in every way”, so he could serve as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. In 2 Corinthians 5:21 it’s stated another way: “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
This demonstrates the mind-blowing humility and generosity of God that we’ve all heard about in John 3:16. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
What’s the next step? Check out AnEternalImpact.com/First-Things-First. Understand that without Jesus, we are heading toward an eternity separated from God. We can receive the free gift of salvation and start living the life He wants for us. Learn about the world-changing the concept of Immanuel by reading the gospel of Luke and the book of Acts in the New Testament. Immanuel . . . God with us.
Photo credit: KidSermons.com