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12/24/14: Immanuel - God with us

Written by Carlton L. Arnold

And the Word of the Lord says:

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14

This prophecy occurs in the Old Testament over 700 years before the birth of Christ from Mary, who was a virgin.  It was given as Jerusalem was under attack, and God was trying to encourage the leaders at that time that He would save Jerusalem.  There are some differences in Bible translations with the word “virgin”.  The Hebrew word used for virgin could also mean a young woman old enough to be married.  Therefore, some Bible translations will use “young woman” as opposed to “virgin”.  I have difficulty accepting “young woman”, because of the following verses from Matthew.

 

And the Word of the Lord says:

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel.” (Which means “God with us”). Matthew 1:22-23

This is a direct reference to Isaiah’s prophecy identified above.The Greek word is translated virgin and not young woman.  Immanuel means “God with us.”  Just as Isaiah provided a sign that Jerusalem would be saved from the invading armies, Matthew tells us that God will become a baby to grow up to a man to save all mankind from their sins.  Sin has been defeated in a Believer’s life. 

I find it totally fascinating that God’s plan for man’s salvation would include Him becoming a human being.  I think an action such as that is beyond the comprehension of all of mankind.  Only God could sacrifice Himself for what He has created in His likeness.  I am totally humbled at the great and mighty God becoming a baby in a manger.  I am totally amazed that, although innocent and without sin, He sacrificed Himself on the cross so that my sins and your sins would be forgiven, and we would become as righteous as Jesus.  I hope this hits you hard so that your worship, praying, reading the Bible, fellowship with others, etc. will become more focused on the reason: Christ died for all of your sins and you are now granted eternal life with God.  Amen!

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