DR. PHILLIP BRASSFIELD
Matthew 1:22, So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: v23 “Behold the Virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us”.
God is with us… what a comfort in these troubling times. He came to us because He loved us. He came to us because He didn’t want us to face life alone. He came to us because we needed a savior, and what a Savior He is!
Immanuel! God with us! What does it really mean?
He is a God who is present. Think with me for a moment.
One of the divine qualities we ascribe to God is omnipresence. Omni comes from the Latin meaning all. This means God is everywhere, literally. There is no place where God is absent. There are a couple of theological concepts that we affirm as a result of God’s omnipresence. The first is a concept called transcendence, the second is immanence.
Let me briefly explain:
Because God is omnipresent (in every space, in every time and every dimension), He, therefore, transcends the limitations of any dimension. Scientists have identified some 13 dimensions of reality, but God created them all, is Lord of them all, and present in them all. He transcends and supersedes any governing laws of nature, man or science, and rules absolutely and simultaneously in every existing domain. Therefore, we say He is immanent. This means that He cannot be escaped, ignored, or dismissed. He is present; He acts within our lives, outside our lives, and beyond all possible dimensions of existence. He was before time began, measured, and established the boundaries of the universe, and He will remain constant when time is no more.
How powerful was it then, that the Angel of the Lord specifically said when Jesus was born, “they will call His name Immanuel, God with us” – God, Present! Jesus said later, “I will never leave you nor forsake you but go with you even to the end.” Knowing the importance of a name, God specifically chose to be known as a God who is always present. In the Old Testament God was called Jehovah Shamma, ‘God who is present’. But in Jesus, He is not only present, but “with us”. No matter where you go, God is present and with you! He is there when you need Him, He never takes a vacation, He is never unaware, and He is never distracted. And when you call out to Him, He always responds, “PRESENT” and “I’m with you”! In other words, “I’ve got you!” In your moments of greatness or moments of suffering and sorrow, He is there. When you win or when you lose, He is with you. Regardless of your circumstance you are not alone!
What a promise that came to us at Christmas! What a gift! What a God! What a name! What a comfort!