Advent Day 17: Immanuel: God is With Us!

Today, we light the Green, Black, Blue and Gold Candles. The Green Candle represents life and all that Father God created in Christ, Good and Whole. The Black Candle represents the Evil and Corruption of Sin that entered our World through our rebellion. The Blue candle represents the Hope that comes from the Promises of a future Savior and King. The Gold candle represents the birth of the long expected King and Savior.

Matthew 1:23
“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).

Matthew 1:22–25
1:22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: 1:23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).
1:24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 1:25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.

Centuries before the announcements to Mary and Joseph, the Prophet Isaiah had been given a series of messages that concerned the birth of a Son.

In Isaiah 7, during the days of King Ahaz, the Lord gave a message and sign that he would deliver the Kingdom from its enemies of the time. One of the “signs” that the Lord gave was, “the virgin shall conceive and you will call his name Immanuel (God With Us!). At first, it seems that this is fulfilled in the birth of Isaiah’s own son Maher-shalal-hash-baz. This son would be a sign that the Lord would do as He promised and save the Kingdom of Judah – the line of David.

But then, Isaiah receives more messages from the Lord, words that we have read before:

Isaiah 9:6–7
9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
9:7 Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.

The child spoken of in Isaiah 9 no longer sounds like Isaiah’s son. This child would be called “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” This child is no ordinary human. This child would establish the Throne of David and bring a Kingdom of Peace.

Often the Lord gave messages through His prophets that signified something symbolic in their own time that would later be filled out – expanded, made literally true, FULL-filled – in Jesus. When the angel speaks to Joseph in the dream, he tells him that Jesus, the son of Mary, was conceived by the Holy Spirit. Matthew then makes it clear that this was a FULL-fillment of Isaiah’s message.

Jesus would not just symbolize the name “Immanuel” meaning “God is With Us!” Jesus would actually be God in human flesh! His other names in Isaiah 9 point to this reality: Mighty God, Everlasting Father

As we celebrate Advent – the birth of Jesus – we are celebrating the most incredible and revolutionary event that has ever happened in human history:

God has become one of us and He is with us.

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