…The Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14
Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel, which means, “God is with us.” Matthew 1:23
It is said that no one appreciates a cure unless they have first experienced sickness. And so it is with the Christ of Christmas. The true meaning of Christmas, of God with us, can only be truly understood and appreciated by the one who comes face to face with his sickness, his sin.
The glorious truth, the immeasurable mercy, the inexplicable grace of Immanuel is only seen when we grasp what Isaiah 59 says: “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened at all, that it cannot save, nor His ear dull with deafness, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear…We grope for the wall like the blind…we are as dead men.”
This is our sickness. In our sins, we look for justice but there is none; for salvation, but it is far from us (v.11). YET! Yet, the Lord saw it, and it displeased Him that there was no justice, no intercessor. THEREFORE! Therefore His own arm brought Him, brought us, victory (v.16)!
“So (as a result of the Messiah’s intervention)….when the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him and put him to flight…He shall come as a Redeemer to Zion and to those in Jacob (Israel) who turn from transgression, says the Lord.
As for Me, this is My covenant…says the Lord: My Spirit, Who is upon you (and Who writes the law of God inwardly on the heart), and My words which I have put in your mouth shall not depart out of your mouth…from henceforth and forever (vs.19-21 Amp).”
Immanuel, God is with us. In this one name, we have God’s entire plan of salvation. Immanuel. God. Is. With. Us.
My Thanksgiving List 12/6/12
592. Immanuel. Thank you, Lord, for coming to and staying with us!!
513. Peanut scribbles on my journal page
533. Writing tithe checks
572. My Christmas village
576. Free lunch at Dion’s
532. Snuggling on the couch and watching Rick Steves’ Europe
589. Training a very special coworker
580. Decorating the perfect Christmas tree for our little haven-home
592. Garlic and onions
594. That our little haven-home is consistently filled and alive with the sound of music
595. Cute baseball caps that hide bad hair days
593. My Christmas bear collection that began in 1997, our first Christmas season married. Another year married, another Christmas, another bear