Today David Brakke, our lead pastor at Maltby Christian Assembly, continued our Christmas series by talking about the meaning behind “Immanuel” – what it really means to believe in the miracle that is “God With Us.”
The Bible reads, “‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name Immanuel’ (which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus” (Matthew 1:23-25, ESV).
Isaiah had originally relayed this message to Judah – God will not forget you. He will rescue and restore you from oppression and exile. But Matthew saw a fulfillment that was so much greater. Jesus (The Deliverer) would be God’s exclamation point – that he more than keeps his Word. Seven hundred years in waiting…finally an intervention to end all interventions. An invasion into human history. The Incarnation. God With Us.
And even that was not the end of the story. Christ would live. Would share. Would show. Would die. Would rise. Would ascend. But before he leaves – just one more bit of instruction. Just one more promise. Go into all of the world and make disciples. And I will be with you until the end of the age. I will be with you. I will be with-in you. Our bodies would become his temple. He would be our Counselor.
So acknowledge his Presence. In the good days and in the bad. We can’t always trust our feelings. But we can trust in his Word. He once was at the center of the campsite in the form of the Tabernacle. At the center of Jerusalem as the Temple. At the center of history on that first Christmas morning. Now he is to be the center of our lives. The center of his mission. He is with us.