Names of God Day 6: Immanuel
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” (John 1:1,14, ESV)
Of all the names of the Lord Jesus, this one brings such a unique comfort. Immanuel: God with us. Let that sink in: God. With. Us. That is the exact definition/translation of the Hebrew word, and it could not be more clear. Jesus is God; He came into this world as a human to live with us and, ultimately, die for us. Could there be any greater gift?
On day 5 of this study we briefly looked at some prophecies written about the Lord Jesus. Some of them speak about Him not only as the Messiah but also as Immanuel. Isaiah wrote,
“The Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (7:14).
Before Jesus was conceived, an angel came to His mother, and later in a dream to his earthly father, to tell them about His miraculous birth. Matthew wrote,
“All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: ‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel,’ (which means, God with us)” (1:22-23).
Why is it so important that Jesus was the manifestation of God to us? John said it like this:
“The Word [the Lord Jesus] became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known” (1:14,16,18).
We never could have known the fullness, glory, and grace of God apart from the Lord Jesus. He revealed God’s nature to us in a way we could understand by becoming like us, except for sin. Jesus tangibly showed us God’s truth, His love, His peace, and every other part of His nature. Paul explained it like this:
“In him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross” (Colossians 1:19-20).
God did not have to give us the Lord Jesus, but He chose to, out of the abundance of His love. He gave us His Son not only to be present with us but also to give His life for us.
The presence of God with us through the Lord Jesus also means that, once we trust Him for salvation, He will always be with us. He promised this to His disciples, and it is promised many other times in Scripture: “I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
When we are joyful, He is with us. When we are fearful, He is with us. When we are anxious, sad, or frustrated, He is with us. In our marriages, families, and relationships, He is with us. At our jobs, He is with us. When we are sharing the good news of His salvation to an unaccepting world, He is with us. When there is unrest all around us, He is with us. Nothing changes that. And the Holy Spirit is a guarantee of that (see day 3 of this study).
This should change us. Our God did not simply declare our sins forgiven with His words, although He could have. He showed us His love by giving Himself as the sacrifice for our sins. The Lord Jesus is the culmination of that. The Lord Jesus is God with us. Once we trust that His work on the cross was accomplished to pay the price for our own sins, we are His and He is ours eternally. I cannot think of a greater hope; I cannot think of a greater peace. And because of Him, we can claim the words of this psalm each and every day of our lives:
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me” (Psalm 23:4).