Daily Christmas Encouragement
(Devotionals by Pastor Wayne Taylor)
Immanuel ~ God with Us
"And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins…'Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,' which is translated, 'God with us.'" (Matthew 1:21, 23)
At Christmas we celebrate the miraculous birth of God the Son in the form of a man. Think of it, God became a man! The name "Jesus" is the Greek translation of the Hebrew name "Yeshua" or "Joshua." Jesus' name is actually a contraction of two words―Jehovah and Shua―meaning "the Lord is our Savior." Immanuel literally means "with us is God." At the Incarnation, God came to be with us in the person of Christ, who is the perfect, eternal sacrifice for all our sins.
In creation, we see God above us as transcendent. In the moral law, we see God against us as judge. But in the Gospels, we see God with us as Immanuel―our Savior, friend, and King. As Immanuel, God joins Himself with His people.
I love the story of the grandfather who sees his grandson jumping up and down in a playpen, crying at the top of his lungs. When Johnnie sees his grandfather, he reaches up with chubby little hands and says, "Out, Grandpa, out!"
It is only natural for the grandfather to reach down and lift Johnnie out, but as he does, the child's mother says, "No, Johnnie. You are being punished, so you must stay in the playpen." The grandfather is at a loss and doesn't know what to do. His heart is deeply moved by the child's tears. But the mother's firmness in correcting her son cannot be taken lightly. Yet, love finds a way. The grandfather cannot take his grandson out of the playpen, so he climbs in with him.
That is what our Lord Jesus did for us at Christmas. In leaving heaven and coming to earth, He climbed in with us.
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…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 1:1, 14)
Sent by permission from Pastor Wayne Taylor; firstname.lastname@example.org)