Immanuel, God with Us, Is Eternity’s Sonnet

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)

“Immanuel, God with us.” It is hell’s terror. Satan trembles at the sound of it. . . . Let him come to you suddenly, and do you but whisper that word, ‘God with us,’ back he falls, confounded and confused. . . . “God with us” is the laborer’s strength. How could he preach the gospel, how could he bend his knees in prayer, how could the missionary go into foreign lands, how could the martyr stand at the stake, how could the confessor own his Master, how could men labor if that one word were taken away? . . . “God with us” is eternity’s sonnet, heaven’s hallelujah, the shout of the glorified, the song of the redeemed, the chorus of the angels, the everlasting oratorio of the great orchestra of the sky. . . .

Feast, Christians, feast; you have a right to feast. . . . But in your feasting, think of the Man in Bethlehem. Let him have a place in your hearts, give him the glory, think of the virgin who conceived him, but think most of all of the Man born, the Child given.

I finish by again saying, A happy Christmas to you all! —Charles Spurgeon

Christ, by highest heaven adored. Christ, the everlasting Lord, Late in time behold Him come, Offspring of a virgin’s womb. Veiled in flesh the Godhead see, Hail the incarnate Deity! Pleased as Man with men to dwell; Jesus, our Immanuel! —Charles Wesley

The implications of the name Immanuel are both comforting and unsettling. Comforting, because He has come to share the danger as well as the drudgery of our everyday lives. He desires to weep with us and to wipe away our tears. And what seems most bizarre, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, longs to share in and to be the source of the laughter and the joy we all too rarely know.

The implications are unsettling. It is one thing to claim that God looks down upon us, from a safe distance, and speaks to us (via long distance, we hope). But to say that He is right here, is to put ourselves and Him in a totally new situation. He is no longer the calm and benevolent observer in the sky, the kindly old caricature with the beard. His image becomes that of Jesus, who wept and laughed, who fasted and feasted, and who, above all, was fully present to those He loved. He was there with them. He is here with us. —Michael Card

When Jesus Christ came to Earth, one of the names given to him was Immanuel, which means “God with us.” The Incarnation means that God came down to live with us. And when Jesus ascended to Heaven in his resurrected body, he demonstrated that the Incarnation wasn’t temporary. The New Earth will be Heaven incarnate, just as Jesus Christ is forever God incarnate. —Randy Alcorn

Merry Christmas to you, and all glory to Immanuel, the God who is with us, and will be with us forever!

Photo by David Beale on Unsplash

Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries