For the month of December, both here on the blog, and in the encouragement via email I send on Fridays, I’ll be writing (and recording) an advent series, Wonderful.
So this time truly can be wonderful, we’ll be looking to God’s Word and the truth of the first Christmas to live more fully in the fullness of Messiah Jesus.
One of the prophecies about the Messiah is found in Isaiah 7:14, which says, “…the Lord Himself will give you a sign: the virgin will conceive and give birth to a Son, and will call Him Immanuel."
And in Matthew 1, we see this prophecy fulfilled:
While there are many descriptions of the Messiah, Jesus, in this passage, the one we are going to focus on today is His Name of Immanuel, and the meaning of this name: God with us.
Throughout Scripture, there are promises of God being with His people:
John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” In this verse, Jesus is described as being with God, because He is God. The Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, living in perfect relationship.
Later in John 1 we read, “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth… No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.” (vv. 14; 18)
Jesus who was with God and is God came to earth. Leaving the perfection and glory of heaven, He donned an earthly body and became human. He walked and talked and breathed and slept and ate and wept as we do. He lived on the earth to which He had given life.
In Jesus coming to and living on earth, He showed God’s glory. He was God’s glory incarnate. And in His glorifying of God and being glorified by God, He made God known. His will and heart was displayed; the love He has for all and His wanting relationship with us. As Hebrews 1:3 says, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being.”
In John 17, Jesus is praying to His Father, and we see His heart, His desire, His will for us in this prayer. In verses 24-26, He says, “Father, I want those You have given Me to be with Me where I am, and to see My glory, the glory You have given Me because You loved Me before the creation of the world.
“Righteous Father, though the world does not know You, I know You, and they know that You have sent Me. I have made You known to them, and will continue to make You known in order that the love You have for Me may be in them and that I Myself may be in them.”
Jesus left His place in heaven with God, to come to earth and be God with us, so we could be with Him. So we could be in His presence.
This isn’t because He is lonely. God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit live in relationship with each other. The Trinity, three in one, in perfect communion. Love before the creation of the world.
Jesus wants us to be with Him so we would see His glory, know the Father, and love Him with the same deep love the Father does.
As John Piper says in his devotional Good News of Great Joy, “Jesus’s longing and goal is that we see his glory and then that we be able to love what we see with the same love that the Father has for the Son. And he doesn’t mean that we merely imitate the love of the Father for the Son. He means the Father’s very love becomes our love for the Son—that we love the Son with the love of the Father for the Son.
"This is what the Spirit becomes and bestows in our lives: Love for the Son by the Father through the Spirit.”
And Jesus promised to send the Spirit. He said, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:18) So even after Jesus’ ascended back into heaven, He is still Immanuel, with us His through His Spirit. Revealing His glory. Making Himself known. Love in us.
Immanuel. God with us. God with you. This Christmas season, I encourage you to take time to be with Him. To not forget, in the midst of the presents, the gift of His Presence.
For this advent series, I created an advent calendar, with daily Scripture readings leading up to Christmas. The readings start tomorrow. Enter your email below to receive the calendar (there are four designs to choose from!) PLUS my free Bible study on contentment, the Heart Beats.
The post Wonderful: God With Us first appeared on The Overflowing
Photo from pixabay.com, edited by Jessica Faith
All Scriptures taken from the NIV, copyright 2011