“Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14
This ancient prophesy, given as a sign to King Ahaz of the coming judgments upon his enemies, Syria and the northern kingdom of Israel, points some 700-plus years beyond the immediate threats against the kingdom of Judah to the birth of Messiah Jesus.
This sign which the LORD gave was far greater than any normal human event, for a virgin would conceive and bear a son – something not humanly possible, but “with God nothing shall be impossible” (Luke 1:37).
And this virgin-born Child would be called Immanuel, which means God with us. The promised Child would be God Himself in human flesh, the God-man Savior promised since the beginning of time when God said to the serpent of old, “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:15).
This Child is the promised Seed of Abraham (Genesis 12:3; 22:18), the Shiloh promised by the mouth of Jacob (Genesis 48:10).
God Himself tells us of the fulfillment of these ancient promises through the words of the angel of the Lord who appeared to Joseph (Matthew 1:20-23): “But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 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.”
The ancient words were fulfilled in the conception and birth of the Messiah, Jesus. As the Lord had promised, the Holy Ghost caused the virgin Mary to conceive in her womb and give birth to the very Son of the Highest, the Son of God (cf. Luke 1:26-38).
And this Child, Messiah Jesus, came into this world to save His people from their sins. This He did by keeping God’s commandments in mankind’s place and suffering and dying upon the cross to pay in full the just penalty for the sins of the whole world.
The Bible says (Galatians 4:4-5): “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.”
As we once again prepare to celebrate the Christmas season, remember that we celebrate no ordinary event. We celebrate the greatest event in human history, an event promised since the beginning of the world and fulfilled in the birth of the Christ Child – God Himself, Emmanuel in human flesh, come into this world to redeem us and open for us the gates of everlasting life in heaven!
O LORD God, eternal Father, thank You for Your ancient words of promise which give hope to thousands looking to You for life and salvation. Thank You for fulfilling those ancient words and sending Your only-begotten Son into this world a true man, born of the virgin, that He might redeem us by shedding His blood for us upon the cross and then rising again. Grant us faith to believe Your ancient words and place our hope and trust in Messiah Jesus, our Savior and Redeemer. In His name we pray. Amen.
[By Randy Moll. Scripture is taken from the King James Version of the Bible.]