The birth of Jesus fulfilled the gift of Immanuel (Emmanuel), God with us, since that was His name (Matthew 1:23). While considering the great gift of our Savior this Christmas morning, I realized that “God with us” isn’t just a name, it’s an inheritance, a potential, and my reality.
The first birth of Immanuel was Jesus as the babe in Bethlehem. But there is another. The gift of Christmas continues in the second birth.
Jesus came into the world from the outside. He can’t be categorized or understood in human terms. Jesus didn’t evolve, He was before all worlds and all creation. He is God. He is Immanuel.
Jesus as Immanuel
Christmas celebrates the gift of peace, salvation, redemption, and certainty of eternity in the presence of our Creator and Father through the Person of Jesus. God became incarnate through Christ and dwelled among man as man.
What happened when Jesus ascended after His resurrection? Where was God with us then? Was He gone?
The Holy Spirit as Immanuel
Christmas introduced an incarnate God to the earth. God was indeed among the people of the time and area where Jesus lived and ministered. When He returned to sit at the right hand of the Father, did God with us expire?
Briefly. During that time, Jesus instructed Peter and other believers to wait. God with us would soon return, fulfilling the New Covenant introduced in Old Testament prophecy and restated and completed in Jesus Christ.
The entirety of human history with God the Creator is about waiting patiently and obediently. Whenever people wander off that narrow path bad things happen.
Waiting – Patience and Obedience
The poster children of error were Adam and Eve, followed by global evil resulting in the Flood. Obedience led Noah and his family to build an ark for rain no one had ever seen. Once God sealed them in, they waited until God finished His work and dry land appeared.
Abraham waited for Isaac, albeit not without trying to hurry God along at least once with Hagar and Ishmael. Joseph waited in prison. The Israelites waited forty years and never got it right.
Jesus asked for patience and obedience until the Holy Spirit would enter the world from outside the world. Instead of walking among His people, God entered the heart of His people.
Immanuel and You
God is ever faithful. God with us returned in miraculous birth again; the New Birth through Jesus Christ. Born again, the second coming of Immanuel.
Immanuel will remain on the earth as long as His children and heirs through salvation remain. The hope of Christmas is like an unopened gift waiting for someone to open it and be blessed by its contents.
The Foundation of God With Us Today
“You must be born again” isn’t a command, but the very foundation of your relationship to God, His Christ, and His Spirit. Christmas is the promise of a gift that is often misunderstood, rejected, or unopened.
“You must be born again” is a requirement and a fact, not something you aspire to or approach with caution. God with you is possible only through the Holy Spirit.
The incarnate God walked among us for a few years two thousand years ago. Then He left; Jesus arose, appeared, preached, finished His work, and returned to Heaven.
Immanuel – The Second Birth
Yet God with us is here today, for those who experience the second birth. You cannot remain as you were and experience the true and lasting gift of Christmas.
Christ in you. Immanuel. God with you.
Wishing you a joyous and blessed Christmas, celebrating the second birth that permits the presence of Immanuel in you.