“Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us’” Matthew 1:23
Matthew complies several sections of prophesy from Isaiah to bring us this amazing proclamation of what happened when Mary the impossible mother gave birth. God himself entered the scene in that Bethlehem manger. After the long journey, after centuries of waiting, after an act of obedience from Mary and faith from Joseph the Saviour of all mankind was born. And in that moment God was with us.
We do not have a distant God. Our God is not far off. Jesus left the throne of heaven and came down to be with us. He did not abandon us to our sin. He came to be with us, living and dying to be our serpent crusher.
Jesus went through all the trials of life. He grew up. He learnt to walk, to talk. He was God and yet He humbled Himself to be born as a baby, God incarnate, dwelling among us. He knew the pain of friends’ dying. He knew the heartache of betrayal. He knew what it was like to be tempted. He went through all the struggles we face. He suffered. He was hated. He was persecuted. He was vilified. Jeered. Falsely accused. Spat at. Whipped. Beaten. Bloodied. And then, in the ultimate injustice, the Son of God, though totally innocent, the only sinless spotless One, was put to death on a cross.
But the grave could not hold him. The light of the world rose victorious over the power of sin and death. Death did not get the victory. Sin’s curse was broken. The serpent was finally crushed. The sound of heaven touching earth was the sound of the serpent’s head being crushed in defeat as the Light of the World rose victorious.
Note the words Isaiah and Matthew use. “God is with us”. Not ‘was’ not ‘will be’. Is! God is with us! The Holy Spirit now dwells in all believers. We are not alone. Our God has been through it all. He has lived among us. He knows what it is like to be tempted. He knows what it is like to be persecuted. He knows what it is like to suffer. He knows emotional pain. He knows physical pain. He knows loss. He knows. He is able to empathise with us for He is not a distant God – He is with us! In all things God the Spirit is with us. In all things God knows what we are going through, and he cares for us! As Christmas draws near no matter what you are going through this season remember that the promise of Christmas is that in it all God is with us. He will not forsake or abandon you. He knows what you are going through. He has been here. He has walked through it personally. Our God is not far off, God is with us!