With Us ~ 20141224 ~ Pastor Rodney Zedicher ~ Ephraim Church of the
Bible ~ www.ephraimbible.org
God With Us [Christmas Eve Service] - Audio available at:
Matthew 1:20 But as
he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to
him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to
take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from
the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name
Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All
this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they
shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).
is called Immanuel, in fulfillment of the prophecy in Isaiah 7:14,
that the virgin would conceive and bear a son. Immanuel is a Hebrew
word that means 'God with us'. Think about this. Ponder this. Stand
in wonder and amazement. What does it mean for God to be with us?
The infinite, eternal, immortal, invisible, all powerful, everywhere
present, uncreated Creator of all that is, the incomprehensible God
- to be with us, what can this mean?
gospel begins this way:
John 1:1 In the
beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was
God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made
through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4
In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light
shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
continues in verse 14
John 1:14 And the
Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory,
glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1:18 No one
has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has
made him known.
only God who is at the Father's side, the Word, God the Son, has
made God known. God became incarnate, God became flesh. God was born
to a virgin as a human baby.
apostle writes in 1 John:
1 John 1:1 That
which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have
seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our
hands, concerning the word of life— 2 the life was made
manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you
the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to
us— 3 that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to
you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our
fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4 And
we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.
Word of life, who was with the Father, was made manifest, was made
known. The Apostles heard with their ears and saw with their eyes
and touched with their hands. Jesus Christ the Son became tangible,
became visible, the one who eternally existed from the beginning as
God became a human baby so that God could be known. And so that we
could have fellowship with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.
So that we could have joy. So our joy could be complete.
made God known to us. In answer to why Jesus healed on the Sabbath
day, Jesus said:
John 5:17 But Jesus
answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am
working.” 18 This was why the Jews were seeking all the more
to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he
was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
19 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son
can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father
doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.
who is equal to his Father, makes God known by doing what the Father
Jews questioned the legitimacy of his birth.
John 8:19 They said
to him therefore, “Where is your Father?” Jesus
answered, “You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me,
you would know my Father also.”
know Jesus is to know the Father. Jesus has made God known. Jesus
says in John 10:
John 10:30 I and
the Father are one.”
John 10:38 ...even
though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know
and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”
is one being with his Father, he shares all the attributes or
characteristics of the Father. He is God. And he makes God known.
says to his disciples:
John 14:6 Jesus
said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No
one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you had known me,
you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and
have seen him.” 8 Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the
Father, and it is enough for us.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have
I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip?
Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show
us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father
and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak
on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works.
11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or
else believe on account of the works themselves.
see Jesus is to see the Father. To listen to Jesus is to listen to
the Father. Hebrews tells us:
Hebrews 1:3 He is
the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his
nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After
making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the
Majesty on high,
is the radiance of the glory of God. He is the exact imprint of his
Matthew 1:21 She
will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save
his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill
what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: 23 “Behold, the
virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name
Immanuel” (which means, God with us).
his name is Jesus before he can be called Immanuel. Jesus, because
he will save his people from their sins. For Jesus to be Immanuel,
God with us, he must first be Jesus, the sin-bearing substitute.
told sinful Israel:
Exodus 33:3 Go up
to a land flowing with milk and honey; but I will not go up among
you, lest I consume you on the way, for you are a stiff-necked
sins must be gone before God can be with us in any good sense.
Jesus, Savior, makes it possible for God to be with us no longer as
judge but as Father and Friend. Jesus came to pay the price on the
cross so that all who believe in him are adopted into his family.
Because of Jesus, we can be with God in the most joyful and
soul-satisfying sense imaginable. Jesus, Immanuel, God with us.
said to his disciples just before he ascended to the right hand of
...And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
you experience Jesus as Immanuel, God with us!
Rodney Zedicher ~ Ephraim Church of the Bible ~ www.ephraimbible.org