Immanuel – God with us!
Christmas is a day to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, a day of hope and great joy. Peace on earth!
But not for all.
Woe to you who desire the day of the Lord! Why would you have the day of the Lord? It is darkness, and not lightAmos 5:18
For God to be near is a day of dread for those who are at enmity with God. A dark day. A day of gloom. All are born into a state of conflict with God, not peace. All sin and turn away from God. For God to be near, is a day of judgement for sinners. By nature, and by choice, we do not have peace with God and we are unable to reconcile with God and walk in peace with him by our own efforts.
That is the darkness of God with us, that He is good, but we are not. He has promised in his holy righteousness to bring wrath upon all wickedness. A promise we love, until we realize we are wicked. The holiness of God consumes sinners, that is a dark day. But there is hope.
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone.Isaiah 9:2
A false sense of peace is a conscious dimly lit with the flickering of artificial light. We need to know how our sin is deep darkness, the feeling of hopelessness and helplessness of being sinners in the presence of our holy God.
It is in this utter darkness where Jesus shines and is a great and overwhelming light.
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.Isaiah 9:6
Jesus is our Mighty God in the flesh and comes to usher in peace with his own death. There upon the cross did Jesus willingly absorb the wrath of God, the dark cup we earned by our sinful thoughts and deeds. It is in the darkness of sin where many have come to understand the incomparable mercy of Jesus and the depth of their sin and in this moment of revelation they cried out “what must we do to be saved?!” The answer almost seems anticlimactic, Repent and believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved. No grand effort on our part is needed because Jesus fulfilled that promise of God to save. God’s profound promise “I will do it” became the “It is finished”
Our sin is placed upon Jesus and the perfect obedience he alone walked in becomes ours. We become adopted children who are pleasing to God, we may once again walk in peace with Him.
Emmanuel – “God with us” for those who are found in Christ, becomes a phrase that brings us to the pinnacle of joy because we are able walk in peace with God and to bask in His glory. All to the praise and honor of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.
May you know the true peace of Christ and grow in grace and knowledge of Him – Merry Christmas!