Emmanuel—God With Us

When Joseph, Mary’s fiancé, learned Mary was pregnant, he was inclined to break off their engagement (Matthew 1:19). While he was considering his options, St. Matthew relates, an angel of God appeared to him and told him to go ahead and marry Mary. The baby she was carrying was implanted in her by the Holy Spirit. This was done to fulfill Isaiah’s prophecy given over 700 years earlier: “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is ‘God with us’”(Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23).

God with us. Think about that. What a wonderful and mind boggling thought. The Creator becomes a man. He who made all things from the simplest atom to the mighty Andromeda constellation, the plankton that fills the seas to the mighty galaxies of distant space, comes to this insignificant speck called Earth as a helpless, defenseless, naked baby.
God with us. God not appreciated. Coming to bring peace, hope, and love but earning scorn and death from those whom he would have benefited.

God with us. Why? Why would God want to be a man? The difference between God and man is even much greater than if a man decided to become an AIDS virus. There’s just no reason to do it. Or is there?

When God created man he created him pristine. Everything God created, He pronounced good. When God made man, He pronounced his work “very good.” It wasn’t long, however, before the parents of humanity spoiled everything. God had placed Adam and Eve in Paradise and gave them freedom to eat of every tree except one. The devil tempted Eve and she in turn convinced her husband to eat the fruit of that tree. With that one act of rebellion and disobedience the entire human race became alienated from God. Our disobedience to the desires of God and our lack of conformity to His character constitute us sinners.

God’s holiness demands punishment for disobedience. That is why God came in the flesh. That is why God walked among us. He came to die. He came to absorb our punishment in Himself. The Apostle Paul says that Jesus was made sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God. This demonstrates the love of God for you.

Perhaps you’ve wondered why you do those evil things that you do, why you want to do what you know is wrong, why you like doing those things you know are wrong. That is your rebellion against God. You are by nature a sinner. But Jesus came to change your basic makeup. He came to save you from your sins. By believing in Him you will not only have the forgiveness of sins but the power to live right.

Would you like to be right with God? His Christmas gift to you is eternal life. Will you accept it? “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved.” May all the blessings of Christ be yours this Christmas.

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