The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and we will call him Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)
On this day before Christmas, let us pause for a moment. Let us join the company of the shepherds who were out in the fields, keeping watch over their sheep, and go down to Bethlehem and see this Babe who was born King of the Jews in the little town of Bethlehem.
In my role as a pastor, there is no busier season throughout the year than the Christmas season. Christmastime can be saturated with so many activities and so much ministry that, if I’m not careful, I can miss the miracle of the message that “Unto to us a child is born, unto us a Son is given” (Isaiah 9:6). So let us pause for a moment, you and I, and contemplate deeply what we are about to celebrate tomorrow: the birth of the Babe in Bethlehem, who came into this world to save sinners . . . of whom I am chief!
Notice two things with me today and let your heart beat with joy for that first Christmas gift. First, “the virgin will conceive and give birth.” Oh, the wonder of His miraculous conception! Never before had the world heard of such a thing, and never will it be heard of again. But it had to be this way. Only through His conception by the Spirit of God would this Babe be born sinless, without spot or blemish. Because of the sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, all of us are born sinners through natural conception. But Jesus was conceived as the seed of the woman supernaturally, through the power of the Holy Spirit.
The second thing I want you to see is what this Babe born in Bethlehem was to be called: Immanuel, which means God with us. That’s right. God in Christ came into this world, not only to save us from our sins, but to be with us so that we could live in relationship with Him.
Take just a moment to think that through. Jesus left his throne in heaven and entered into this fallen, broken, sin-stained world so that He could have an intimate, personal relationship with you. He wanted so much to be with you that He was born to die. Every day of His life pointed to that day when He would be nailed to a cross on Calvary’s hill and pay the penalty for your sin. And three days later, on that first Easter morning, Jesus walked out of His grave alive and well, which was proof positive that God the Father was well-pleased with the sacrifice of His Son.
So, Christian, as you prepare to celebrate the birth of this Babe born in Bethlehem, pause today and remember that Immanuel is with you, regardless of where this finds you. But that’s not all! Jesus has also promised never to leave you nor forsake you. This Babe born in Bethlehem is not only with you now, He is with you forevermore.
Merry Christmas to you and yours!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!