Text: Exodus 33; Matthew 1:23 | Listen to Message
God With Us
We often hear the name Immanuel (Emmanuel) around Christmastime in connection with the birth of Jesus. And that’s perfectly fitting because Jesus is Immanuel – “God with us.” But God began revealing the character of Immanuel long before Matthew chapter 1; He began in Genesis 1, in fact.
See, you were made for life with God. God created you to know Him, love Him, enjoy Him, and find your satisfaction in Him. That’s Genesis 1-2.
But then Genesis 3 happens and sin ruins everything. Sin obstructs and wrecks our relationship with God. And that could easily be the end of the story: “God made you for fellowship, but you blew it; so that’s that.”
But Genesis 3 is not the end of God’s story. In fact, most of the rest of the Bible is about how God is working in real space-time history to restore what sin has ruined and to make a way back into His presence by grace!
This redemptive storyline runs all throughout the Old Testament and finally culminates in the birth of Jesus – the Word become flesh. Finally, in the face of Jesus, humanity beheld the face of God! He was the true Temple, where God would meet with man. And he was also the true Lamb of God, who would take away the sins of his people, so they could no longer separate us from our merciful Creator.
In a word, Jesus’ life was about reconciliation. And nowhere is this more powerfully illustrated than in the moment when Jesus laid down his life on the Cross – and God tore the curtain of the temple in two from top to bottom, saying in essence, “Now come to me! Come boldly, come confidently, through the cleansing of my Son!”
God has drawn near to you in Jesus. Are you consciously drawing near to Him?