Bible Society of South Africa

Fulfilment: Immanuel – God with us – 11 October 2021

By Carina Francke

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An angel appeared to Joseph, Mary’s fiancé, in a dream and assured him that what was conceived in her was from the Holy Spirit. He did not need to be afraid of marrying her. The message was: “She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21) The contextual link between the name Jesus and the Hebrew word for “save” is expressed as “The Lord saves”. Yes, Jesus the Saviour came to save people from the power and penalty of sin. The proper name “Jesus” describes what He came to do on earth – to save lost people!

This announcement fulfils the prophetic word the Lord gave to Isaiah approximately 700 years ago, namely that a virgin would fall pregnant and give birth to a boy and that he would be called Immanuel (Matthew 7:14) No, it is not yet another proper name, but a description of who Jesus is: “God with us.” In coming to earth, Jesus became the personification of God, who really came to be “with us” in human form. (Bybellenium p60) Said differently, “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form.” (Colossians 2:9)

The fulfilment of Isaiah’s prophecy should nullify the fear and frightful thoughts we have when we end up in uncomfortable situations. The cloud and pillar of fire of the Old Testament are no longer necessary to make us feel safe because Immanuel, Jesus, had come. He is the promised One, “God with us!” In Us! For ever!

Perhaps, you are confused by the words Immanuel, “God with us”. Who is He? John 1:1-2 sheds light on this question: “In the beginning was the Word (Logos), and the Word (Logos) was with God, and the Word (Logos) was God. He was with God in the beginning.”

And then follows the crescendo of this godly truth in verse 14: “The Word (Logos) became flesh and made his dwelling amongst us.” Did you hear that? He “made his home” with us. He was visible in the glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

How does Immanuel, “God with us,” concern you? The answer – Colossians 2:9-10: “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.” What an awe-inspiring, godly privilege!

Indeed, after the ascension, Jesus was no longer physically present, but the Holy Spirit He sent makes the Father and the Son powerfully present in every believer’s life. (John 14:16-17)

Prayer: Heavenly Father, your self-denial in becoming a man to make us partners in your fullness is beyond my understanding. Thank You! Praise be to Immanuel, God with us! Amen

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