“… the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” (John 1:14)
“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a Son, and they will call Him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).(Matthew 1:23)
No matter how ardently secular scholars attempt to ignore or rewrite history regarding the life, death, and resurrection of God’s Son, their disregard for that timeless reality remains meaningless. Immanuel has always been and will eternally be – with all those who place their trust in Him! He created us for the noble purpose of knowing, loving, and enjoying His fellowship. Across the millennia, the unparalleled example of His caring love has drawn billions to His side. Our highest privilege is to respond to His divine grace. That solitary defining decision is the true meaning for mankind’s existence.
In an era of God’s own sovereign choosing, Immanuel left heaven and personally – joined us! That is when “… the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” (John 1:14) Finally, we were able to touch Him, reflect on His sinless perfection, and converse with Him. We observed His holiness on a personal level. This is when Immanuel declared, “Anyone who has seen Me, has seen the Father.” (John 14:9) Without this revelation of Himself, all of humankind would still be searching and attempting to visualize their Creator. Before Immanuel arrived, we sought to worship Him through symbolic rituals, art forms, and religious sacrifices. Prior to receiving His Ten Commandments, we utterly failed to comprehend the profound depth of His holiness. Over time, we discovered that the eternal “I AM” of the Old Testament, God’s sacrificial Lamb in the New Testament, and the Omnipresent Holy Spirit revealed in both Testaments, provide us with one united comprehensive – picture of God. Only by faith and through His enlightenment could heaven’s greatest revelation be understood and appropriated. In the fullness of time, the first century believers came to understand the virgin-born Child’s saving purpose and identity. Sadly today, long after that miracle and so many fulfillments of prophesy, millions still do not understand that God faithfully kept His promise!
Most remain as lost as Thomas – before his acknowledgement of the risen Savior’s divinity. Their minds remain in spiritual darkness. They have not yet learned the wisdom of doubting their doubts in regard to the existence of the one true living God and His redemptive activity in history. The Bible declares, “The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize Him.”
(John 1:9, 10)
The Savior’s long awaited arrival took most of Israel by surprise! At first, they did not comprehend that He was Immanuel. Then, His authority over death, disease, and hell’s demons dramatically demonstrated His deity! His earthly arrival was perfect – He revealed Himself to us as a poor and defenseless child. Our Savior from heaven came disguised as a man of humble origin. He walked among us like a simple carpenter wearing a plain white robe.
This Christmas, your story about knowing heaven’s Immanuel could appear to be falling on deaf ears. But do not worry; faith normally develops through wisdom gained over time. Remember that all men and women are continually being drawn toward the Truth, so your testimony is an important part of God’s redemptive plan. Jesus explained, “…when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men to Myself.” (John 12:32) Let’s enjoy drawing personally closer to our Father’s Immanuel. He is the timeless joyful meaning of Christmas!