PastorRodney’s Weblog

Preaching from the Pulpit of Ephraim Church of the Bible

Jesus – God with us! (Christmas Eve Service)

2/24 God With Us [Christmas Eve Service] – Audio available at: http://www.ephraimbible.org/Sermons/20141224_god-with-us.mp3

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).

Jesus 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?

John’s 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.

He 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.

The 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.

The 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.

The 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.

Jesus 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.

Jesus, who is equal to his Father, makes God known by doing what the Father does.

The 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.”

To 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.”

Then he says:

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.”

Jesus is one being with his Father, he shares all the attributes or characteristics of the Father. He is God. And he makes God known.

Jesus 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.

To 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,

Jesus is the radiance of the glory of God. He is the exact imprint of his nature.

Savior

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).

Notice, 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.

God 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 people.”

Our 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.

Jesus said to his disciples just before he ascended to the right hand of his Father,

Matthew 28:20 …And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

May you experience Jesus as Immanuel, God with us!

Pastor Rodney Zedicher ~ Ephraim Church of the Bible ~ www.ephraimbible.org

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December 24, 2014 - Posted by | occasional, podcast | , , , ,

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