Part three of a Christmas series from Teaching the Word Ministries:
Today we present the third of four devotional messages on the theme, “The Comfort of Christmas”. Read part two.
The virgin birth of the Divine Son was the beginning of the ultimate demonstration of God’s love for sinners.
“Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name IMMANUEL.” Isaiah 7:14
The profound depth of this verse increases as we continue to its third significant statement: the name of this unique virgin-born son. Not only did God promise a divine sign to prove his deliverance was at hand – the miraculous conception of a Son in the womb of a virgin – but now we read of the identity of this special Son as revealed through his name, IMMANUEL. This name, when translated into our English tongue, literally means “God with us.” From this name we learn not only the unique identity of this Child born of the virgin, but we also learn of the great act of love that God demonstrated by giving his own Son for the salvation of His people.
Consider first the unique identity of this Child. He is a Son, but more than just an ordinary son. Throughout Scripture, names were given not just as forms of identity, but specifically to describe the character of the person who was named. Jacob means “supplanter” and he was truly well named, for he was a manipulator, a user of other men, until God subdued his will and transformed his nature. Then, God named him “Israel,” or “prince with God.”
And so, we find the name of this Son born of the virgin is IMMANUEL, which literally means GOD WITH US. What does this name tell us about the character of this Child? Ah, brother and sister, this is no ordinary child before us. Yes, it is a human, a child of Adam’s flesh, fully man in all His being. And yet He is more than just a human baby; He is the very son of God! As the ancient creed says, “very God of very God, begotten, not created!” This child is fully God come in the flesh, so that the Apostle John writes that the Word, the LOGOS, became flesh and dwelled among us (John 1:14)! What incredible words! What a profound mystery! God and Man joined into one being. Two distinct natures and yet one person – the GOD-MAN, Jesus Christ.
What is the great comfort of Christmas? It is the truth that God keeps his covenant promises! It is the message that the virgin shall conceive and bear a son! But these truths pale into the shadows when we consider that the Son who was born was a divine son, the Son of the living God, come in the flesh. And why did He come in the flesh? He came as the representative of His people. In life, He would be their representative in keeping God’s holy law perfectly in thought, word, and deed. In death, He would be the spotless Lamb of God who would bear the sins of His people. His resurrection would be for their justification, and prove God had vindicated His work of redeeming His people from their sins. This divine Son, this God-Man, was the promised Messiah, the son of David and heir of David’s throne, and the very son of God.
But consider also that the birth of this Son was the greatest demonstration of God’s love to man. What does the Apostle John write in his gospel? “For God so LOVED the world, that HE GAVE his only begotten son. . . . (John 3:16). And the Apostle Paul in his epistle to the Romans writes, “But God DEMONSTRATED His LOVE for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). The birth of Jesus Christ, and later His death and resurrection, were concrete signs or proofs that God loved sinners, and that He loved them so much that He gave us His Son, born of a virgin, holy, harmless and undefiled.
The comfort of Christmas is this: Man by act of rebellion and sin had separated himself from God, and was destined to damnation in Hell for all eternity. But God who loved, also sought after his lost creation, and in the fullness of time a Son was born of the virgin, and His name was IMMANUEL, GOD WITH US!
TeachingtheWord Ministries www.teachingtheword.org
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