Jesus. Our Immanuel. God with us!
It’s so powerful isn’t it? The Christmas story?
A nation waited for centuries for a deliverer. People lived in spiritual darkness, hungry for help and hope. The Roman government ruled over the Jews with a firm hand, and the Jews wanted freedom. When would their promised King come? The son of David that would rise up and set them free? The prophets of old had reassured them He would come.
But so much time had passed and so much had changed that people stopped looking.
And then, one night, a young, expectant couple arrived in Bethlehem… they’d travelled so far just to return to their family hometown to register for the Roman census. The baby was due any time.
No room was available and the time had come… Mary gave birth and laid her baby in a manger.
The Savior of the world lay bundled in a feeding trough.
Heaven came down and the most glorious thing on earth met with one of the lowliest things on earth.
And speaking of lowly… the first to be told were lowly shepherds.
“And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10,11)
And that’s how God works.
He meets us where we are, though we be lowly, sinful, weak, poor, hungry, hurting, suffering… He meets us and when we accept Him, He sheds His glory, grace, and forgiveness on us.
The long awaited deliverer and King had come. He didn’t look like the warrior king that would set the Jews free from Roman rule. Instead, He was God in the flesh, clothed as a carpenter’s son, come to set all people everywhere free from sin.
And today, we can sing with full assurance, “Joy to the World, the Lord is come!”
- The spiritually poor in spirit no longer need to live in poverty! His richness has arrived!
- Captives no longer need to be bound by the chains of sin! Our deliverer is here!
- The spiritually blind no longer need to stumble in darkness! Our light is here!
- The oppressed no longer need to live in oppression! Liberty in Christ is available for all!
Our world today still has many poor captives and blind oppressed. In other words, many unsaved. But the good news is that Jesus has already come and His offer still stands. He came because He loved us so much He wants us to live with Him forever. To give us eternal life. Jesus came, born in the lowliest of states and turned the world upside down. A king laid in a manger? A savior, the (adopted) son of a carpenter? A deliverer, not seeking war, but bringing peace to hearts?
It’s all so backward, but so perfect. It’s power displayed in a strange and daring form.
I pray this for us: That as Christmas day comes we would focus on the miracle of it all and the power of the Christmas story. That we would look with fresh eyes at the miracle of our Immanuel. Of God with us. Of God coming near and staying near—right in our hearts! And I pray that we would respond with joy, worship, and adoration, and that we would be able to share His message with others… that we could reach the captives with the Good news of Christ, so that they might believe and be set free!
May you have the sweetest Christmas that celebrates the miracle of Jesus and the power of God with us!
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed…” (Luke 4:18)
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)