O Come, O Come, Immanuel
13 Then Isaiah said, “Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of men? Will you try the patience of my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:13-14)
18 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”—which means, “God with us.” (Matthew 1:18-23)
The first man and woman were made perfect. They had full access to God in Eden. When they made the decision to surrender to the deceiver, everything changed. But God announced a plan:
14 So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this,
“Cursed are you above all the livestock
and all the wild animals!
You will crawl on your belly
and you will eat dust
all the days of your life.
15 And I will put enmity
between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
and you will strike his heel.” (Genesis 3:14-15)
Israel’s history from that point forward is the unfolding of God’s plan. God moves them toward redemption, they disobey and fall back. But ultimately God announces the One who would come and change that pattern once and for all. A child born of a virgin — Immanuel. God makes the announcement 700 year’s before it would happen. When the time came, God reminds Joseph about this announcement as he learns he will be the adoptive father of Immanuel. And when Jesus is ready to begin his earthly ministry, he declares his purpose. He is clearly the Messiah — Immanuel.
We’ll look more at Jesus’ purpose statement the rest of this week. For today, consider how God already had a plan the moment humanity was plunged into sin. God placed a prophetic thread throughout Scriptures to show it to us. How great is his love for us!