All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call His name Immanuel”
which means, God with us (Matt 1:22-23)
So for me, this is the crux of the Christmas Story. Yahweh has sought out our lonely, wounded hearts and offers healing and wholeness. He makes our heart His home; and so we are not alone. This is salvation.
God’s gift to us says something about who He is. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows (James 1:17). Salvation is consistent with His character.
The Psalmist wrote: Our God is a God Who Saves; from the Sovereign Lord comes escape from death (Psalm 68:20). In a great sermon yesterday, our Pastor taught that the very name of Jesus, Yeshua, means God Saves. Again, this is not a new idea; this name appears throughout the whole of Scripture.
For me another name has a special meaning: El Roi. She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God Who Sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” (Genesis 16:13). He is the God who sees me and you, too. We are never out of His sight. If you ever feel lost or insignificant, this is a wonderful name to remember; it is His nature to watch over His people. The Lord will keep you from all harm He will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore (Psalm 121:7-8).
Shouldn’t we marvel that the Creator, Elohim, the God of the Universe, would trouble Himself with us? Yet He is the One who knows the number of hairs on your head and has counted your tears (Luke 12:7; Psalm 56:8). He in the One who has engineered a solution for our brokenness that requires individual relationship with Him; it is up close and it is personal.
At the beginning of His life, Jesus was called Immanuel, which means God with Us. At the end of His life, He reiterated this truth: And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age (Matthew 28:10). Though He left the earth in bodily form, He kept His promise by sending His Spirit to be our constant companion, a comforter for us (John 16:7).
All of this reaching out…all of this sacrifice…all of this lovingkindness…this is the gift of God that started even before Christmas, was fulfilled in the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is the gift we must receive every day.