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Emmanuel: Christmas Series Part 6

“O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.”  (Translated from Latin to English by John M. Neale, 1851.)

Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Matthew 1:23, KJV

God came to earth in the form of a baby. Human flesh—tender, baby, crying, kicking, gurgling, cooing flesh—cloaked the Ancient of Days.

God came to earth. He was Emmanuel—God with us. He joined the race of man in the same manner that the rest of us did—He was born.

His primary purpose was to become a ransom for His people Israel, and then through that one sacrificial payment, to redeem the rest of the human race as well.

Neither animal sacrifice nor good works was enough to open Heaven’s door to humanity. Sin had permeated our beings; we lived our allotted time on earth in the lonely exile of sin. And then? The Son of God was born. Rejoice, rejoice! God is with us.

“O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny;
From depths of hell Thy people save,
And give them victory over the grave.”

The Messiah was to come through the lineage of David, son of Jesse. From that kingly heritage would be birthed the One who would bring an end to the devil’s tyranny over mankind. He would save God’s people from hell and even grant them victory over the grave. Tall order for a newborn babe. Yet within that infant in swaddling clothes lay the future conquest over Satan—the one who currently held the keys to death and hell. At the right time, this Boy would step into the Manhood and ministry that would forever change the world.

“O come, Desire of nations, bind
In one the hearts of all mankind;
Bid Thou our sad divisions cease,
And be Thyself our King of Peace.”

The planet has long been fractured and splintered into divisive groups. It seems like the more we celebrate diversity in an attempt to affirm and unify, the further apart we grow. Man’s tinkering, it appears, has only served to stir up already-agitated waters, exposing our species’ innate inability to solve such deeply-rooted issues.

Not so with the One called the Desire of nations (see Haggai 2:7, KJV). He came to create one heart, one mind, and one body through the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Ghost (see Titus 3:5). He came to break down the barrier walls between us—in Christ “there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise” (Galatians 3:28-29).

Those of us who have been born from above through faith in the Child of Bethlehem—all grown up, crucified, and risen from the grave—are one body, wherever we dwell on the earth and in whatever portion of history we occupy.

If you are born again, you are my brother or my sister. We are family, even if we don’t always see eye to eye. We have a bond that runs more deeply than human DNA, a bond forged in the redemptive shed blood of Jesus.

Emmanuel—God with us—came to the earth and redeemed for Himself anyone and everyone who would believe in Him. And to them He gave the privilege to become the sons and daughters of God.

Rejoice! God is with us!


© 2015, Dorothy Frick

Tomorrow: The government