For this Christmas Eve's blog post I thought I would offer up a thought or two about the meaning of Christmas and the name Emmanuel.
If you have sat through as many sermons as I have you will probably know that Emmanuel is an ancient Hebrew word that means "God with us". Jesus, whose birth we celebrate at Christmas, IS that God (part of the Trinity) and He WAS with us - born in a manger, the "adopted" son of a carpenter - the Son of God. God with us. Hold that thought for a moment, that He, Jesus (God), WAS indeed with us.
When we place our faith in Christ we receive God's promised Holy Spirit. we receive God's Spirit . . . IN us. This gives a second meaning to the words God with us!! God is indeed with us, IN us, when we become one of His children.
Now, consider this. When Jesus returns to earth one day guess what happens? That's right, God will be with us once again. We will hear a trumpet and see the clouds rolling across the sky. He will come back for us so that we can be with Him forever. A third example of "God with us" in the Bible.
"3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Look! God's dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God." - Revelation 21:3
That sounds a lot like what Ezekiel said, doesn't it? This is all so perfect!
The prophet Ezekiel spoke the words in my opening paragraph nearly 600 years before Jesus was born. Here is another fulfilled prophecy written 700 years before Christ.
"13 Then Isaiah said, “Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of humans? Will you try the patience of my God also? 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." - Isaiah 7:13-14
God told us all long ago about Christmas day. 700 years before it actually happened. Why? So we could prepare ourselves. So that we could make room for Him in our hearts. There was no room for Him in Bethlehem. Is there room in OUR hearts for this Kings - born in a manger? God wants us to be with Him. He is desiring a relationship with us.
Are you getting the picture of all this? God REALLY wants to be "with us". It seems pretty clear to me. As we celebrate Jesus coming to earth as a baby, so that He could be with us, let us remember that we have the opportunity to be with Him forever! May God bless you this Christmas and may we continue to celebrate "God with us" throughout the new year. Amen.
Emmanuel God With Us - Amy Grant
Top 40 Messianic Prophesies