What Child Is This :: The Immanuel

Day 24: The Immanuel

See, the virgin will become pregnant
and give birth to a son,
and they will name him Immanuel,
which is translated “God is with us.”

Matthew 1:23

Being together with the people we love is possibly one of the most desired parts of Christmas. Sure, when we’re kids it’s all about the presents and excitement, but as we grow, we realise that being with our nearest and dearest is more meaningful than what we get or do. We don’t always get that though, and for some of us, Christmas might even bring a painful reminder of loneliness.

This hunger for connection, or relationship, and nearness, is a deep-rooted reflection of why we needed Christmas.

God made his people to be with him, but as we’ve seen the past few weeks, his family wasn’t exactly faithful or functional.

Joseph, when he found out that his fiancé was pregnant, was looking for a way to save Mary from public shame. Was this another scandal in the family line?

Before he took action, an angel intervened. Far from being another scandal in the family, this was the peak of the family line.

“Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what has been conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
Matthew 1:20-21

This baby was from God.

This baby would save his people from sin.

See, the virgin will become pregnant
and give birth to a son,
and they will name him Immanuel,
which is translated “God is with us.”

Matthew 1:23

Immanuel, God is with us. What a name.

This baby was God, coming to restore the most fundamental relationship.

This baby was God, who came to be with us, so that we might be with God.

The Lord, Creator of the universe, stepped into his creation which has broken itself, and couldn’t fix itself, so that he might repair it.

The very incarnation itself is a wonder. The reality that God became man so that he might die to save rebels like us is a mystery of ginormous grace. But it doesn’t end with a rescue. It would be one thing to be saved from eternal punishment in hell, but more than that, God gives his own presence, inviting his enemies to become his dearly loved family in sweet relationship with him.

If our hope is in Jesus, then the reality is that his Spirit is in us. We are never alone. We are never abandoned. We can never escape his presence, and yet one day we will know the full clarity of that relationship, when we are with him in the new creation.

What child is this?!

Immanuel, God with us!

God and sinners, reconciled!

Written by Pete Bell

A Thought to Remember: Jesus has come, and will come again
A Bit More to Read: Matthew 1:18-25, Revelation 21:1-8
A Question to Ask: How does the presence of Jesus change your day?
A Song to Sing: Hark the Herald Angels Sing
A Picture for the kids: Angel