“Look! The virgin will conceive and bear a Son, and they will call Him Emmanuel, which means ‘God with us’” (Matt 1:23) NET.
Those three words astound me.
For thousands of years, God had been worshiped from afar. His holiness stood in stark contrast to mankind’s sin. A thick veil separated His earthly presence in the temple from those who approached Him.
His arrival changed everything.
The Eternal One stepped into time and wrapped Himself with humanity. The Creator became one of us. The King who controls armies, who sets up and tears down nations, that King made His first appearance in an unceremonious stable.
And such would be His life – a homeless Miracle Worker, a traveling Teacher, a King rejected by His own people.
He came not impress us, but to save us. Not to condemn us, but to restore friendship with God.*
He came to do what we could not do – to keep the Law of God, and die as if He hadn’t. To taste death for us, then render it powerless so we could be set free.
He came to tear the veil that separated a holy God from His people, and to make us holy, too.
This is Emmanuel – a God so in love with His people that He would walk among us, know our pains, experience our emotions, and die in our stead.
And He beckons us, even today as we celebrate His birth, to draw near to Him as well.
As we give and receive gifts this Christmas day, may we remember the greatest Gift of all time. And may we offer ourselves back as a gift to Him.
* If you’re curious about how to begin a relationship with this Jesus, please check out In Case You’re Wondering.