'Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife,
because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
because he will save his people from their sins.'
'The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son,
and they will call him Immanuel'--which means, 'God with us.'"
For the last day of advent, I chose my favorite title for Jesus: Immanuel, God with us. The Isaiah passage I have written about on previous days is quite broad in its scope as the context of the passage is Messiah coming in triumph and restoring his people. But this term, Immanuel, is so beautifully intimate. God in a man, coming down to be with us physically. Such a thing is almost too breathtaking to attempt any meaningful statement. This truth gives me hope and joy and excitement and comfort and strength. Jesus walked among us, God here, a human, sharing our strengths and burdens. He made plain the love and justice and grace and mercy of our God. He submitted himself to the worst of deaths to tackle our root problem: sin. He triumphed and brought us hope that we can be more than the sinful leanings of our heart, that we can be redeemed and brought back to God. How can I adequately express what this means to me? How deep my heart beats with these truths?
And then to make his coming more profound--he is Immanuel even now. He said he is with us always. We are not orphans. He speaks to us through the Spirit. He walks with us step by step. We are guided by what he has said and done in his Word. Every day of my life he is available to me. He is here right now, right beside me. What hope and joy in this!
Remember today that your Immanuel is with you. He came and walked physically among us and he walks still in our lives. He is available to all who call on him, who submit to his heart and his will. Praise the Lord, Our Savior, for the child born who is God with Us!