“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” – Isaiah 7:14
“All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ (which means ‘God with us’).” – Matthew 1:22-23
We hear the story of the Incarnation often, which can make it hard to maintain our grasp on how incredible it is.
“God with us.”
Consider that before the Incarnation, God’s presence was–for the most part–only accessible through sacrifice. That you would have had to travel to the temple in Jerusalem and that only one person would go into the Holy of Holies and that only once a year.
Reading through the Old Testament you see that the number of people who the Spirit of God descended on was very limited and that when God did make His presence known on earth it was terrifying and mostly unapproachable because of His great holiness and awesome power.
Then we come to the New Testament and the God that “dwells in unapproachable light” (1 Timothy 6:16), becomes completely approachable as an infant child. That perfect child grows and lives as the God-man among sinful humans sharing the truth and love of God.
But God is not just temporarily “with us” or limited by His earthly location as a man. Because of the work of Christ and through the presence of the Holy Spirit He is now always “with us”.
Immanuel began with the Incarnation and continues forever.
Because of the Incarnation, through the gospel of Jesus we have salvation and can boldly approach the throne. We will never be forsaken and are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. He will comfort us, hear our prayers, and deliver us. There aren’t enough words to declare all that God has done, is doing, or will do.
I can’t say it enough. Immanuel, God with us, now and forever.