God with us!

The word Immanuel is right up their with the word Lord in Christian worship. Incarnation or enfleshment is the way a theologian would explain it. It is literally when God became flesh and dwelt among us. The Incarnation is the greatest and most noble idea in any world religion. That God did not watch human despair from afar but instead clothed himself in humanity and came near, to enter our problem existence and be the solution. He ceased watching the human war and became a soldier, experiencing all of life as we do. Think of what Jesus experienced: blistering in sun, shivering in rain and cold, hunger, bereavements heartache, loneliness, betrayal, pain, agony, shame, sorrow…
All these things the God of all mercy took upon himself, this is why God with us, Jesus, is now our perfect high priest. He experienced life as we did yet remained Holy God without sin.
The greatest question is why? He had to be man to pay the penalty for man, he also had to step into our darkness to lead us to the light and life (like rescue divers for the soccer team trapped in a cave– they had to go in to lead them out). God has done the same– He proved his love and salvation by sending His presence to us. God knew after “the fall” man would face pain and trials, heartache, and despair. Immanuel is God saying, “I won’t allow you to face it alone, I will come help you and redeem you from all this.”
What is greater still is when we place our faith in Christ, He comes to live in us through His Holy Spirit. Not only to help and empower our lives for His glory and our good but also for the good of others. God is still incarnate, in the flesh, He is in us. So in and through us He is still stepping into peoples conflict and pain helping and redeeming a world in need. When you enter into others’ despair with the love and presence of Christ, others will see Him at work and also proclaim what we know to be true in the birth of Christ— “Immanuel” = God is with us!
In His Service,
Eric Barnes