“Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign: See, the virgin will conceive, have a son, and name him Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14)
God’s promise is spoken of in terms of a birth. This was a way in which God had chosen, in Israel’s past, to show his dramatic intervention in human history…three pivotal points in time:
- When Israel was in Egyptian slavery, God sent a baby named Moses.
- When Israel wanted a king, God sent a baby named Samuel.
- And now, that first Christmas, God sent a baby named Jesus.
God had done it before. Now he was promising to do it again. But even before that, in the Garden of Eden, God’s solution for sin was generations in coming. God told Satan, “I will put hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Genesis 3:15)
In previous generations, the birth of children was seen as a hopeful thing – optimistic – looking forward to the future. But look at us now. Our hopeless view of the future is seen in our birthrate – 1.64, which is not even at replacement levels. We see the hopelessness in the demonic lie of abortion.
But God promised, from that first sin, that salvation would come through Eve’s children. Her offspring, the church, would do battle with the devil – and ONE of her descendants would crush Satan’s head somewhere down the line.
Thousands of years later, Isaiah picks up that prophetic refrain. God is sending Immanuel…God with us…Jesus.
Ultimately, that refrain was proclaimed by the angels: “Today in the city of David a Savior was born for you, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be the sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped tightly in cloth and lying in a manger.” Suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to people he favors!” (Luke 2:11–14)