Immanuel – God With Us!
Wednesday of Advent 3 Trinity Lutheran Church
14 December 2016 Murdock, NE
+ Jesu Juva +
Immanuel: God with us
Where is God? Hmm? If you take a rocket ship to Mars or to the international space station will you find the Most High God? Nope. How about if you look deep down inside yourself? Will you find God there? Good grief! No way! So where is God?
If you’re a Muslim, you speak of Allah as the ONLY and ALWAYS THE-ABOVE-US-GOD. According to Islam, Allah does send angels, prophets and books. However, Allah is too holy and too above us to ever descend to this worldly mess himself. If Allah was to come down and even touch this wreck of an earth it is called shirk. And anyone that claims that God has a Son or that God became a human being commits shirk, makes God disgusting and blasphemes God’s glory.
Well, well, well. St. Matthew, the other Evangelists and the apostles obviously didn’t get the memo on shirk. The Triune God didn’t either. Check it out. God does what Islam forbids God to do. God does have a Son. Eternally begotten of the Father He is! And now that Most High Son humbles Himself, takes on flesh and dwells among us. Conceived by the Holy Spirit. Born of the Virgin Mary. As Dr. Luther once remarked in a Christmas sermon: “Jesus, Immanuel, God with us in the muck and work of our lives so much that His skin smokes.” (WA 4:608-609)
Look at the Baby Jesus! Yes, that One! The One that lies in Mary’s lap; the Infant that nurses at her breast. He pees and poops. He cries. Behold! There is God! All the fullness of the deity dwells in Baby Jesus (Col. 1:19). There is where you find God! That is where He puts Himself. That is where He locates Himself. Clothed in human flesh and blood!
All this fulfills Bible prophecy. Isaiah’s prophecy to be precise. Isaiah 7:14. “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet [Isaiah]: ‘The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ – which means, ‘God with us.’”
All right. So God is with us. Baby Jesus is Immanuel. So what? I’m so glad you asked. Your question gets to the heart of it. The core of Christianity. In fact, the essence of salvation. It’s one thing for Jesus to be Immanuel, God with us. But it is really quite another thing for Jesus to be Immanuel, The With Us God, FOR YOU. All this is taking place FOR YOU! Baby Jesus is God FOR YOU!
Baby Jesus is entirely and completely God FOR YOU in this way: “he will save his people from their sins.”
This is Immanuel’s mission. It is His one-track mind. To help against sin and the damnation that sin has earned for every sinner, including you. So, Jesus, Immanuel, God with us is GOD FOR US. He enters into the depths of humanity. He stoops down so deep into flesh and blood.
And further He sinks. To the lowest of depths. He is born of the Virgin to suffer and die on Good Friday with all the world’s sin and all of its damnation on His body. He who knew no sin was made to be sin that Friday. He was made to be a curse that Friday. FOR YOU! All your sin is on Jesus. All your damnation is on Jesus. This is not shirk! It is not blasphemous. It is the glory of God! This is salvation!
This is what it takes to save you. This is why Jesus, God’s eternal Son, was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. Some would call it shirk, claim that God would never do that and that it cannot be true. I’m here to tell you it is! Totally! God Himself says so. “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet [Isaiah]: ‘The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ – which means, ‘God with us.’”
God with us to save you from your sins! And you are! Saved! That’s Good Friday’s promise. That’s Immanuel’s baptismal promise: “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved,” (Mk 16:16). That’s Immanuel’s Lord’s Supper promise too: “given and shed for you for the forgiveness of your sins,” (Mt. 26:28). Your sins don’t belong to you anymore. They belong to Jesus. They’re all on Him, not on you. Because of that YOU ARE SAVED!
In the name of Jesus.