There is no one in history that has been given more names or titles than Jesus Christ. If you've read through the Bible carefully then you know what I mean. Throughout the pages of Holy Writ over 100 names and titles are given to Jesus. And whether He is called "Bright Morning Star, Wonderful Counselor, the Root of Jesse, the Alpha and the Omega, or the Lamb of God", each of these names and titles is rich with meaning. They all say something significant about who Jesus is.
However, there is no name more significant than "Immanuel". This name, which Matthew refers to in his Gospel (Matthew 1:23), was first given to Jesus by the prophet Isaiah 700 years before His birth (Isaiah 7:14). And this very special Christmas name, as Matthew tells us, means "God with us." Jesus Christ is Immanuel, "God with us," and I'd like to share why this is so meaningful at Christmas time.
When Paul preached to the pagans of Lystra (in Acts 14) He reminded them that the true God, the Creator, had always been with them, giving them witness of Himself by providing them with rains, fruitful seasons, and giving them food and glad hearts. Thus, God has always been with His creation in the sense that He, who is everywhere, has showered all mankind with blessings -- despite their sin.
So great was His love for His fallen creation, for you and for me, that He left His glory to come here. And through His perfect life and death on the cross He broke down the wall of separation that our sin had built and reconciled us to Himself; as it is written "God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them." (2 Co. 5:19). Through Jesus Christ, Immanuel, our sins are forgiven and we have fellowship with our Creator again.
Immanuel. In this one name, everything humankind needs and the entire plan of God's salvation is subsumed. How blessed we are that Jesus Christ became Immanuel, God with us.
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