All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus. (Matthew 1:22-25)
About two-thousand years ago, a young Jewish man named Joseph discovered his soon to be bride miraculously pregnant with a child that he was told would literally be “God with us.” The Almighty God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was taking on human flesh and was nine-months away from dwelling with his people. The Creator was stepping into his creation, and it was so subtle that it defied all expectation.
The name Immanuel informs us of who he was — “God with us.” But the name Jesus lets us know why he came — “God saves.” Throughout history, God had rescued his people from bondage, delivered them from captivity and restored them as his people. Now, he was coming for the ultimate rescue. A deliverance that could only be pulled off through what Christians call an Incarnation (God taking on humanity to be with his people).
When Jesus was born, the Almighty God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was now with us. He was here to rescue his people from their bondage to sin, to deliver them from corruption’s captivity and to restore them back into a right relationship with him. Sin had long separated us from our God, but our Hero of Hope was now here.
He has come and he will return and he has promised to be with us every single day in between. What if we began to walk through every minute of every day fully aware that the Almighty God of Israel is with us?
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, you are the Almighty God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the Creator of the universe. Thank you for coming to be with us in the person of Jesus and for staying with us in the presence of the Holy Spirit. Please give us a heightened awareness of your presence and may that effect how we live each day. Amen.