“Now all this took place that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, ‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which translated means, ‘God with us’ ” (Mt 1:22-23). And Immanuel did come and dwell among us.
“And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth” (Jn 1:14). “What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our own eyes, what we beheld and our hands handled, concerning the Word of Life – and the life was manifested, and we have seen and bear witness and proclaim to you the Eternal Life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us” (I Jn 1:1-2).
In his New Testament writings, John strongly emphasizes the eyewitness testimony of the apostles. They saw, heard, and touched Jesus, the Word made flesh, the Eternal Life made flesh, God in the flesh. Jesus truly was and is Immanuel; God with Us.
But Jesus Immanuel, God with Us, left the earthly scene, from an “in the flesh” standpoint, around 2000 years ago. But He did not leave us without an Immanuel. During His Last Supper discourse, Jesus said, “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper (i.e. the Holy Spirit) shall not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you” (Jn 16:7). “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you” (Jn 14:16-17).
God has given us a new Immanuel that is not only “God with Us” but has become “God in Us” as well. While we celebrate the birth of Jesus Immanuel and thank Him for His sacrifice that rescued us and gave us eternal life, we should also celebrate and thank Holy Spirit Immanuel who infuses our present life with joy, peace, and victory over the power of sin.
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me” (Gal 2:20). In acknowledging God in all His fullness, the three-in-one, we thank you Father for sending the Holy Spirit to be “Christ in us, the hope of glory!” (Col 1:27). Amen!