“The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”—which means, “God with us.” (Matthew 1:23, NIV)
The two pivotal facts of Jesus’ incarnation are found right here: Jesus is God and Jesus is human. He is Immanuel, God with us. Why is this important?
Consider Hebrews 2:17-18, “Therefore, it was necessary for him to be made in every respect like us, his brothers and sisters, so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God. Then he could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people. Since he himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us when we are being tested (NLT).”
As we’ll see in Sunday’s sermon, because Jesus is “with us” in our humanity, he can relate. He knows about life. He knows about sorrow. He knows about failure, and loss, and emotions and disappointment – because he is with us (by the way, he knows the joys of life, too). But he can do more than just empathize. Because he is GOD with us, he can do something about it…he is able to help those who are tested.
In the words of C.S. Lewis: “God could, had He pleased, have been incarnate in a man of iron nerves, the Stoic sort who lets no sigh escape him. Of His great humility He chose to be incarnate in a man of delicate sensibilities who wept at the grave of Lazarus and sweated blood in Gethsemane. Otherwise we should have missed the great lesson that it is by his will alone that a man is good or bad, and that feelings are not, in themselves, of any importance. We should also have missed the all-important help of knowing that He has faced all that the weakest of us face, has shared not only the strength of our nature but every weakness of it except sin. If He had been incarnate in a man of immense natural courage, that would have been for many of us almost the same as His not being incarnate at all (The Collected Letters of CS Lewis).
Jesus has been places you have been. He’s been in the darkness you’re in now…and even more. Therefore, you can trust him. You can rely on him because he knows and has the power to bring you through.
May he reveal himself to you this season…