Jesus is God with us
When I was a child, I couldn’t wait for Christmas! I was so excited about opening all the wonderful gifts under the tree. I watched the calendar, with great anticipation, eagerly waiting for Christmas Day; and when It finally arrived, I was thrilled!
God promised in the Old Testament, hundreds of years before Jesus’ birth, that He would send a Messiah. His prophets offered many signs to watch for so that we would know that He had arrived. Isaiah offered this prophecy… 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 7:14
Later, Matthew would make clear that the Messiah had arrived. 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). Matthew 1:22-23
God had a plan to come to Earth… His prophets made clear the Messiah would come and in fact, there would be many signs proving He had come. In Jesus, God would be present with us. Jesus would come to earth, both fully God and fully man. We know that Mary would be the virgin who would bear God’s very own son.
So what does all this mean to us?
Jesus’ birth meant that God Himself had now come to live with us! Jesus was both fully God and fully human. (John 1:1-18; 1 Timothy 3:16)
1) Because Jesus is Immanuel, God with us, we are never alone. 20 …And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:20b
There are times that you may feel lonely and afraid. Some of you are experiencing acute fear, loneliness and isolation these days; a pandemic can do that to us. During this Christmas season, you can be assured that God is with you! If you are lonely, isolated, afraid, uncertain, or concerned, lean on Christ right now; you are never alone! God is with you.
2) Because Jesus is Immanuel, God with us, we can experience peace. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27 You may wonder how you can stifle the fears that plague you, especially when the 24/7 news media is bombarding you with political drama and pandemic trauma.
Do you know what the 2020 word of the year is?… “Pandemic”. Surprised? Have you noticed, you can’t say pandemic without saying “panic”? I think a lot of people are feeling panicked these days… and who could blame them? God doesn’t want you to be panicked or afraid; He wants you to experience His peace. He offers us peace that passes all understanding… including the peace that Christ offered us by ending the conflict we have with God created by our own sin. Do you need His peace today? It is available in Jesus Christ, Immanuel, God with us!
3) Because Jesus is Immanuel, God with us, we are loved unconditionally.
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. John 3:16
Do you realize how much God loves you? This passage proves it! God sent His very own son to Earth, not simply to be remembered for His remarkable birth, but to be embraced for His remarkable sacrifice on the cross! God gave his one and only Son, so that you could be assured a home in His heaven. Have you accepted His Gift?
Christ’s arrival showed all humanity that God is faithful to fulfill His promises. In His gospel, Matthew points out… 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said. Matthew 1:22. There are many prophecies that point to Jesus. Scholars acknowledge that Jesus fulfilled at least 300 OT prophecies. The probability of one man independently and simultaneously fulfilling just ten of those is mind boggling. Author and pastor, Dr. Roger Barrier estimates that probability at 1 in 16425, with 47 zeros! (To get a visual for how vast that is, listen to the message link below).
What does that prove to us? It proves that there is absolutely no doubt that Jesus is the promised Messiah. And, it proves that when God makes a promise, He keeps it! You can count on God to fulfill His promises to you; and His Word is full of wonderful thousands of promises for you. He promised a Savior and He provided a Savior!
How did Mary respond to the news that she would give birth to God’s very own son and what can we learn from her? (Luke 1:26-38). Mary was “highly favored” by God. Do you know what that phrase means? In Greek, it is a single Greek word which means “much grace”. Mary received God’s grace. Grace is unmerited favor. It is getting what I don’t deserve.
Mary was a sinner in the same way that you and I are sinners. She acknowledged her need for a savior: 46 And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, Luke 1:46-47. Mary was in need of a Savior in the same way that you and I are in need of a Savior. Two truths to consider from this encounter…
We are all “highly favored” by God because He offers us His gift of grace. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9. We are all in need of God’s grace because none of us is perfect. Have you accepted God’s amazing gift of grace?
We can fully commit to serve the Lord and to see His will fulfilled in us! Mary did, despite the obvious concerns she may have had. 38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Luke 1:38. Would you make that same commitment to the Lord today?
For much more, click here to watch The Gift Worth Waiting For - Part 2 - Watch for it!