God With Us
“The Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” – Isaiah 7:14
Who do you like to spend time with?
It’s a word we hear quite frequently in the church, especially around Christmas time, Emmanuel. It means, “God with us.” As with many names in the Bible, it’s not simply a name, it tells us something. It tells us Jesus is God and God is with us.
The Uniqueness of Jesus as Emmanuel
When we talk about the use of the name/title Emmanuel, we tend to make a big deal over it. Jesus is God made flesh. God dwelled among us! How awesome must it have been to be Mary or Joseph or the shepherds or Peter or James!? They got to be with God.
Where does that leave us, though?
Don’t misunderstand. I think it is amazing that God became man and there’s a lot that it tells us about God, but we weren’t alive 2000+ years ago. I think it would be understandable for those of us who lived after 30 A.D. or so (or those who lived before Christ) to not quite feel so excited that someone 2000 years ago got to be in the presence of God.
What if it wasn’t so unique?
What if the concept of God dwelling with us wasn’t the exception, but the norm?
Think about it. When God created Adam and Eve, what did He do? Did He create them and leave? Did He just sit back and watch from a distance? No. He came and walked and talked with them every day!
That’s not the only time, either.
- The Angel of the Lord, who many think may be the pre-incarnate Christ, makes several visits.
- God visits with several people called prophets throughout the Old Testament. He even spoke with Moses face to face.
- When leading the people through the wilderness, God led them with a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.
- When God made the Children of Israel His chosen people, He had them set up a Tabernacle and He dwelt among them. He did the same with the Temple, later.
- Jesus is God in flesh dwelling among us.
- After Jesus, God poured out His Holy Spirit upon His church and says His Spirit lives in us.
- After Jesus returns on the last day. He will create a new heaven and new earth and we will dwell with Him forever.
He’s With You, Now
Yes, the way Jesus dwelt with humanity was unique, but the fact that God was dwelling with us wasn’t. In fact, God dwells with all those who have faith in Him every day of our lives, and His plan of redemption was always to return us to a perfect existence of living with Him for all eternity without sin or separation.
You are not a distant God, but one who is near to His people. Thank You for sending Jesus. Thank You for living in me. Bring me to that day when I shall live with You forever without sin or separation.
In Christ’s Service,