How is Our Immanuel With Us? Let us Count the Ways!
Hinting broadly at the deity of the promised Messiah, the prophet Isaiah spoke of Jesus Christ as Immanuel, which means “God with us us” (Isaiah 7:9). A few Christmas’s back, that name got me to thinking about the many fascinating ways in which our Immanuel is related to us. Here are a few of the choicest:
- He was before us—together with the Father and the Holy Spirit—prior to the time when time began and the world was created through him.
- He was ahead of us, when, for four millennia, the Old Testament prophets longingly foretold his coming in type, shadow, promise, and prophecy
- He was down here among us after he left heaven, and, through the Spirit’s work, took up residence as a true human being in a virgin’s womb.
- He was out there among us, when, in the days of his flesh, he lived, worked, taught, and ministered (miraculously) to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
- He was in behalf of us, when, through all of the above, he obeyed every divine command, fulfilled every law, and passed every test, thereby attaining a perfect righteousness that God would credit to all who believed in him.
- He was instead of us, when, on the cross, he endured the sentence of death for all who would place their trust in him for the forgiveness of their sins.
- He is now over us, having risen from the dead, ascended into heaven, and taken his seat at God’s right hand, where he serves as the exalted Ruler of the Universe, and as the exalted Prophet, Priest, King, and Head of his Church.
- He is now in front of the world in the person of his people, through whom he proclaims the Gospel, urging everyone who hears to diligently inquire as to who he is and why he came, and to receive him by faith as Savior and Lord.
- He is within us, and at work within us, through the gift of the Holy Spirit, if and when we do receive him.
- He is up above us in heaven, where he is praying for us, and where, on the day of our death, our perfected spirits will see him as he is, and fly to him with inexpressible joy.
- He is up ahead of us in the World to Come, which he himself will create at his return, when he raises the dead, judges the world in righteousness, and welcomes the saints to eternal life with God in the new heavens and the new earth.
How is Immanuel with us? In these and many other ways. May he be with you in them all.