Emmanuel – God with Us
I was thinking a while back about the electronics we buy. At one time, these items came with a thick paper manual. Learning how to operate your purchase required that you dig through the tome. Good luck if you misplaced it, and who could find anything in there any way? Now, you can purchase the most complicated item imaginable, and you are lucky to get a small note directing you to the company’s website. Online the content is searchable and easy to navigate. You can find the answer to any dilemma. The best part is that it is available for immediate assistance 24/7, 365 days a year. It’s the e-manual.
As He sometimes does, showing His massive sense of humor, Holy Spirit prompted me to think, “Just like Jesus – E-mmanuel. Always there. Always ready to help. Searchable. Complete knowledge of the “product.” Has the answers to all life’s questions.” Awesome.
Knowing God as Emmanuel makes Him bigger to me in two ways.
First, it shows the Father’s love for us. In the Old Testament, there was a great divide between God and man. Because of His holiness and magnificence, only a few like Moses were able to walk and talk with Him. When He gave instructions to the Israelites to come and meet with Him, they begged off in horror! “Speak to us yourself and we will listen,” they said to Moses. “But do not let God speak to us, or we will die. (Exodus 20:19).”
This would never do for the God who loved to walk with His creation in the cool of every evening in the Garden of Eden. From the beginning, He made a plan to restore that intimacy of relationship. He made up His mind to become Emmanuel – God with Us.
Kind of a crazy, unbelievable plan, really. He would send His Son, Jesus, to earth to be born to a virgin as a tiny, helpless infant. Though He would be tempted in everyway, the Son would live a life of complete obedience and connection to the Father—showing humans exactly what the Father is like, and He would see life from our perspective. He would die a horrific death to pay the ransom for man’s rebellion, raise to life, and return to the Father to intercede for us all (Hebrews 7:25).
Who does that?
And that is the other way Emmanuel makes God bigger. When Father, Son, and Holy Spirit came up with this doozy of a plan, Jesus agreed to the mission. Philippians 2:6-7 tells us that He laid down the privileges of heaven and humbled Himself to come and experience life as a creature. He came knowing His mission was to die. Romans 5:7-8 expresses the incredible truth that He didn’t do this for a good, worthy person, but for his enemies. We were all His enemies. Though we have scorned and hated Him, He still came, envisioning the joy of gathering us to Himself (Hebrews 12:2).
God paid a tremendous price for me and you. Now He promises that nothing will ever be able to separate us from His love (Romans 8:38-39).
Such a Big Love. Such a Big Sacrifice. Such a Big God.
What do these verses show you about the nature of God?