Christmas is the time the world sets aside to honor and celebrate the birth of Immanuel, Jesus Christ. Sometimes He gets forgotten in the hustle and bustle of life, sometimes He is rejected and mocked, sometimes He is ostracized and persecuted but He is always, always, there for us, offering us the true gift of Christmas – the gift of life.
Who is Jesus and why do we celebrate His birth?
“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call His name Immanuel” which means, God with us. Matthew 1:23
Think about it, Immanuel, God with us…
For thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out.”
At Christmas, we celebrate Jesus, Immanuel, God becoming man, to walk among us.
For thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out. As a shepherd cares for his herd in the day when he is among his scattered sheep, so I will care for My sheep and will deliver them from all the places to which they were scattered on a cloudy and gloomy day. … I will seek the lost, bring back the scattered, bind up the broken, and strengthen the sick; but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with judgment. Ezekiel 34:11-12; 16
What does it mean to you? Immanuel, God with us…
Shout for joy, O heavens! And rejoice, O earth! Break forth into joyful shouting, O mountains! For the Lord has comforted His people and will have compassion on His afflicted. But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me, and the Lord has forgotten me.” “Can a woman forget her nursing child, and have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you. Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands.” Isaiah 49:13-16a
Immanuel, God with us, crucified, dead and buried, but on the third day….
Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into His side, I will never believe.”
Eight days later, His disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see My hands; and put out your hand, and place it in My side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas answered Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen Me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:24-29
And yet believe… Immanuel, God with us…
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. Galatians 4:4-7
Immanuel, God with Us…