December 17 – Immanuel, pt.2

The prophet Isaiah didn’t stop by announcing that the Messiah would come at the birth of Jesus. He foretold that Jesus would impact every aspect of our lives. How awesome it is to meditate on the idea that Jesus is our Immanuel – the name above every other name – Almighty God. He is omnipotent (all-powerful), omniscient (all knowing) and omnipresent (present everywhere at all times). And, He desires that we should know Him, love Him, worship Him, honour Him, and most importantly, walk in a deep relationship with Him and enjoy the magnificence of His presence, peace, and power.

Unlike us, Jesus is not a created being. The day that Mary gave birth to Jesus was not the beginning for Him. Jesus is God and His existence is eternal (John 1.1). He will reign over all that exists from everlasting to everlasting. He was present when the universe was crafted, and He works in and through us for His glory.

“All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
In Him was life, and the life was the light of men”
John 1.34

The miracle of the birth of Jesus is not simply that He was born of a virgin, it’s also a celebration of what He came to do in the lives of those who would believe in Him as Lord and Saviour and put their trust in Him. He lived a perfect and sinless life and died to make a way for us. In essence, He came to “seek and save the lost” so that He could not only walk among us, but live within us and guide us through the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 19.10, Matthew 18.11).

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Sonfrom the Father, full of grace and truth”
John 1.14

Our Immanuel offers us salvation – empowering us to live lives of holiness filled with gratitude – in awe of the One who became flesh so that we could experience His glory. Jesus’ birth is much more significant that the mere fulfilment of a prophecy, His life is a manifestation of God’s ultimate plan for humanity and the defeat of sin, Satan, and the power of the grave. His life, death, and resurrection offer us a means of salvation and a way to experience the amazing grace of God’s presence in this life and until the end of time.

“And behold, I am with you always, even until the end of the age”
Matthew 28.20

In 1851, John M. Neale wrote one of the most popular Christmas song ever sung. Originally written as a Latin hymn during 12th century, “O Come, O Come, Immanuel” was translated into English and is a marvellous reminder that our God fulfils His prophecies and keeps His promises. As we listen to the words on the radio, sing them in the car as we weave through traffic, or hear them echo from the voices of our loved ones and friends gathered to celebrate the birth of Jesus, hopefully Immanuel will have a whole new meaning in our hearts and minds.

This Christmas, let’s be filled with awe and wonder and rejoice like we never have before. Let’s allow ourselves to be amazed at the One who is the fulfilment of all of God’s promises. Let’s celebrate the miracle of the birth of Jesus and the sign that God would use to demonstrate that He would always be with us and for us…our Immanuel.

Published by James Travis

Pastor of Saar Fellowship in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Married to Robyn and Dad to our two boys.

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