The Birth of Jesus Christ
18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name Immanuel”
(which means, God with us). 24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.
What We Believe About God Matters
Christian theologian and writer A.W. Tozer once said that what comes to our mind when we think about God is the most important thing about us. What do you know and believe about God? Do you know that you were created by God or do you believe that you are simply the by-product of some random, chaotic evolutionary process? If there is a God, why is there so much evil and suffering in the world? Who is Jesus? Does God love me? These are all questions people ask. People are the only ones that ask these questions. Creation doesn’t question its Creator.
Actions Speak Louder Than Words
We know what Joseph believed by his actions, not his words. Amidst great difficulty and against all odds, Joseph acted on his convictions. Surely, he did not understand. Surely, his mind didn’t comprehend. But, he loved the Lord with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his mind, so Joseph did what God told him to do. Joseph did as he believed. How about you? Do your actions match your beliefs? How do your actions declare what you believe about God?
The name Jesus (“Yahweh saves”) describes what Jesus does; Immanuel (“God with us”) describes who Jesus is.
To say that Jesus would be called “Immanuel” means Jesus is God and that He dwelt among us in His incarnation. He is always with us. Jesus, on Earth, was God in the flesh, making His dwelling among us.
No, Jesus’ name was not Immanuel; but Jesus was the meaning of Immanuel, “God with us.” Immanuel is one of the several titles for Jesus. Immanuel is a description of who He is. The life He lived here on Earth and continues to live in Heaven and through His dwelling in us through the Holy Spirit models who He is. Jesus is God with Us. Jesus is the God who can save us.
Save Us From What?
In his letter, Romans, the Apostle Paul, an eyewitness to the resurrected Christ, declares that we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and that the wages of sin is death. Paul teaches us that even though we all have sinned and the cost of sin is death, God, our Creator, took the initiative to provide a substitutionary sacrifice to atone for our sins-His Son, Jesus Christ.
Our sin separates us from God. Jesus, through shedding his blood for us, pays the penalty in full for us, affording us the opportunity to be reconciled to God, living a life forever in God’s presence and with great abundance—because when you have God, you got it all. Apart from Christ, we have nothing.
Jesus is God with Us who, through His shed blood and sacrifice, saves us from the wages of our sins.
Where are you today? Is life not giving you what you expected? Do you feel low enough that you have to look up in order to see bottom? Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired? Then come to Jesus. Repent and believe, that’s all you have to do today to change your tomorrow. Don’t be afraid. Be courageous. Stand up and be delivered and receive God’s promise for you today.
Cabal, T., Brand, C. O., Clendenen, E. R., Copan, P., Moreland, J. P., & Powell, D. (2007). The Apologetics Study Bible: Real Questions, Straight Answers, Stronger Faith (p. 1405). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.