I. Introduction (Isa 7:14; Mt 1:21)
A. We have been looking at three things about the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ over the past few weeks.
1. We looked first at the Incarnation of Jesus Christ – how God became Man
2. Last week we look at the Interruption this caused – wasn’t so silent of a coming after all
3. This morning, briefly, we want to look at the Immanuel of Jesus Christ – the God who didn’t just come here, but the God who IS here
B. What an unusual name – Emmanuel. Three times that name appears in the Bible. And each time, it explains emphatically that it is referring to “God being here with us.”
C. Normally, when we think of God, we think of “Our Father, who art IN HEAVEN…” We think of a God way, far away. Distant, remote.
D. Yet, here are some strong Scriptures that say that GOD was going to be right here, on our little planet, right among us people, as a child, no less!
E. But why the name Emmanuel, and what does that name mean?
A. Emmanuel is a Promise (Isa 7:10-14).
1. In Isaiah 7, Ahaz was a wicked king of Israel, 700 years before Christ
2. Israel as a nation, was in a bad way back then. King Ahaz was confronted by a prophet named Isaiah who rebuked him for looking to his “Europe” of the day for handouts and protection against his enemies.
3. Ahaz was supposed to be follower of Jehovah God, and yet did not worship God, nor did he pray, or even know God’s written Laws. Ahaz didn’t believe in the Lord!
4. So God tells Ahaz to ask for a miracle to be done to prove that God was really there, and wanted to save Israel from all its enemies
5. Ahaz, like a good agnostic refuses to weary God – refuses to “bother God” with such a request – what a hypocrite!
6. God gets furious, and replies with one of the greatest statements in the Bible
a. “I myself will give you a miracle – a sign, to prove that I am GOD, and that I alone am your Saviour!”
b. He then goes on to describe the greatest miracle that has ever happened in all of history
1) A virgin - not just a young lady like most new bible versions say
2) Shall conceive – that means, become pregnant, but without a husband, or boyfriend, or test-tube!
3) And specifically birth, bear a son – not just a baby, but particularly, a baby boy
4) And she will look at that boy when He is born, and will recognize Him for who He really is – Emmanuel
5) Emmanuel is the Hebrew word for “God Here With Us!”
7. What a promise! You couldn’t get any more impossible than that!
a. That God would become a human baby in a virgin’s womb
b. No longer using prophets, but would come Himself
8. Note – God makes this promise 700 B.C. 700 years before it did happen
9. It doesn’t come to pass right away – not in 10 years, or 100 years
10. Look at Gal 4:4, and then at Mt 1:21 – fullness of time!
11. But that baby, born to Mary, in the Stable, was the fulfilment of a promise, made by God, to all Israel, and even to all the world, to show:
a. That He is God
b. That He can do anything
c. That he keeps every promise he ever made
d. That He alone, is the only Saviour this world needs!
12. So, What Child is Baby Jesus?
a. He is the Promised Child to Ahaz here in Isaiah 7
b. He is the Promised Ruler in Isaiah 9
c. He is the Promised Conqueror of Genesis 3
d. He is the Promised Messiah of Daniel 9
e. He is the Promised Lamb of Genesis 22
f. He is the Promised Saviour of Isaiah 53
B. Emmanuel is a Person.
1. Emmanuel is Not an Ideal – a religious tradition – kids are being taught about Jesus like He is some mythological carryover from the distant past
2. Emmanuel is not even something distinctly religious – something only Christians would relate to, and understand, like a theological debate
3. No! Emmanuel is a Person. A real, living, breathing, walking human being
4. And His name is Jesus
5. Now, nobody would have such a name as Emmanuel – not normal people
a. Hi, I’m God here!
b. Just wouldn’t go over well
6. Yet, that is exactly who Jesus is – and he proved it:
a. He is the only person who lived a perfect life, all His life
b. He is the only person who lived unselfishly, all His life
c. He is the only person who could heal everyone’s diseases
d. The only Person who was born to die for all of the human race
e. The only person who gave His life freely on the cross for my sin
f. And the only person to rise back up again HIMSELF from the grave
7. Thank God, Emmanuel is a Person
a. Muslims say God wouldn’t want to become a man
b. Jews say God doesn’t need to become a man
c. Yet God said He HIMSELF would become not only a man (Isa 9:6; Gen 22:7,8) but the LAMB of God for the sins of the world
8. What a wonderfully unexplainable Person – a paradox of the highest order
9. What a thing to ponder – what a thing to blow your mind
10. All of God in heaven, born into a totally human being here on earth, and yet God still remaining God in heaven, while on earth!
C. Best of All - Emmanuel is a Present (John 1:10-13)
1. ILLUS: Gifts aren’t always wrapped in the prettiest of wrappers. Ruth dumped out the contents of her stocking this morning and there was a toilet paper roll in there. She instantly moved it aside, to look at all the remaining items of candy. Yet, folded inside that plain tube was call credit for her phone! Don’t be fooled by the plain wrapping of Jesus!
2. ILLUS: I was talking to our kids last night after we read the Christmas story in Luke 2, and I mentioned that Jesus didn’t just become a Man in order to taste yucky foods, and see what it felt like to study in school. Jesus came to do something just for us - Jesus came to be our sin sacrifice
3. God loved you enough to send his Son to die for you.
a. You and I are in desperate need – just as Israel was in Isaiah 7
b. Spiritually - no matter how devout, or moral, or good - we are sinners
c. And as sinners, we can’t enter God’s heaven
d. So, God wrote John 3:16, and then lived it out!
e. John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
f. John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
g. So God sent Jesus as a free gift to save sinners
h. And what’s more amazing, is God did it not because of pity – but out of love! That’s Christmas love, wrapped in the word Emmanuel!
4. Jesus Christ loved you enough to GIVE His life on the cross, in exchange for YOU.
a. Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
b. John 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
5. People in hell don't want you to come there.
a. Luke 16:23-28 And in hell [the rich man] lift up his eyes, being in torments, ... and … he said, I pray thee therefore [Abraham], that thou wouldest send [Lazarus] to my father's house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
6. God wants you to be saved from hell, and asks you to turn from your sin and by faith receive the Christmas gift of God's Son, which results in eternal life.
a. Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
b. Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
7. How? Here it is.
a. Romans 10:9 If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
b. Realize you are a sinner – separated from God because of your sins
c. Notice that it was GOD who came our way, and became the needed sacrifice for our sins
d. Believe with all your heart that Jesus is all you need to become a Christian – a real Christian
e. Call on His wondrous name – Jesus – asking Him simply to save your soul!
f. Believe that He will
g. Then live for Him, all the days of your life
D. Do You Want to give Jesus Christ a present on His birth-day?
1. Luke 15:10 Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.
a. God loved you enough to send his Son to die for you.
b. Jesus loved you enough to give his life for you.
c. People in hell don't want you to come there.
d. All of heaven are watching to see what you will decide.
E. The choice is yours. Go ahead and accept the greatest gift ever given.
F. What will you do with this greatest of gifts?
1. Ignore it?
2. Reject it?
3. Or, Receive it? Don’t go another Christmas without Jesus!