The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son,
and they will call him Immanuel, (which means “God with us”).
The verse above is the first of forty-three Messianic quotes from the Old Testament that Matthew included in his gospel narrative. By linking Jesus’ life to the Old Testament promises, Matthew demonstrates that Jesus’ birth and life fulfilled Old Testament prophecy, to show God’s provision for His people and His faithfulness in following through.
Jesus’ birth and life physically manifest a spiritual reality: God wants to be with His people. He created humans with this relationship in mind, breathing His own life into us, creating us in His own image, and placing within us souls so we may commune with Him.
“God wants to be with His people.”
In the garden of Eden, God’s presence was very real to Adam and Eve as He walked with them in the cool of the evening. Although Adam’s and Eve’s sin separated them from God, He was never far from His people. When He led the Israelites out of Egypt, He went before them in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. His glory was visible in a cloud covering Mount Sinai, the tabernacle, and the temple as a manifestation of His presence.
Throughout history, God has demonstrated His longing to be close to His people. Sin has marred our relationship with Him, but Jesus’ embodiment shows God’s commitment to dwelling with His people.
This is mind-blowing when you think about it: God Himself set aside His brilliance, took on human form, and became one of us. He walked among us, ate, laughed, cried, slept, and felt tired, angry, happy. He, the Creator of the world, became as one of the created, because He longs to be with us. And He was willing to do whatever it took, even setting aside His glory, humbling Himself to the point of death—on a cross—just to be with us forever. Amazing love!
Today take time to respond to God’s Immanuel by spending time in His presence, worshiping Him. Even if it’s just two minutes, set aside your gift shopping, cookie baking, holiday frenzy and take a few moments to just be. With. Him. He longs for you and waits for you. Immanuel.
Immanuel, I’m so humbled by Your display of love! To think that You would willingly give up the glories of heaven to come to this lowly earth, to live with messy people, to die for ungrateful humanity, to secure for us an eternity with You. Forgive me for being so caught up in my own little life that I lose sight of that amazing love. Help me never to get over the amazement of what You did for me.
Genesis 2; Exodus 13:21; 24:15–17; 1 Kings 8:10–13; Isaiah 7:14; John 1:14; Colossians 1:27
 Trent C. Butler, entry for “Old Testament Quotations in the New Testament,” Holman Bible Dictionary (Nashville: B&H Publishing Group, 1991), www.studylight.org/dictionaries/hbd/view.cgi?n=4699.
by Asheritah Ciuciu
Most Christians agree that Christmas is all about Jesus, yet most of us spend little time preparing our hearts to celebrate Him. Why is this?...
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