Pastor Daniel Kolenda
The word Emmanuel is possibly one of the most significant words in the entire Bible. If you don’t understand the revelation contained within that name, then the Bible is a random collection of stories that seem to really have no point. The entirety of the Biblical message is wrapped up and accessed by the revelation that God is with you.
The word Emmanuel originally comes from a prophecy in Isaiah 4. In the New Testament, Matthew sees this ancient prophecy that Isaiah gave as finding a more profound and ultimate fulfillment in the incarnation of Christ. Matthew 1:22-23 says, “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Emmanuel’”
HE DESIRES FELLOWSHIP
The virgin conceiving and giving birth to a son is a supernatural sign, but what is the sign pointing to? In its original context in the book of Isaiah, it was a sign pointing to something that God was going to do in Israel and in Judah. But Matthew sees that there is a deeper, more profound, prophetic message in the meaning of the word Emmanuel itself. Isaiah doesn’t tell you what the name Emmanuel means, but Matthew adds a parenthetical statement, “and they shall call his name Emmanuel”, which being interpreted is, God with us.
That one concept of God wanting to dwell with man is what the entire Bible is about. This is what God has been after from the beginning. He had already created birds, mammals, and creatures of every kind. He wasn’t looking for another animal when He created man in His image breathing into his very nostrils. He was looking for another creature with whom he could have fellowship, communion, and an unbroken relationship.
RUN TO HIM
The human race became corrupt very quickly. By Genesis 6, God was about to destroy the human race because of their wickedness. He literally wiped the slate clean to start over. God approached Abraham and He desired that his children would then become covenant people with God so that eventually the fellowship of God with man could be restored. God picked Israel because He had a plan to restore fellowship with the human race and the Jewish people were an instrument through which God had determined to bring about this reconciliation.
Their role was to interface between God and the human race. This begins to take face almost immediately when Israel is delivered from Egypt. They have not even arrived in the Promised Land but God gives them a command. Exodus 8:25 says, “And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.”
God gave Moses a design for the Tabernacle that was intended to be a physical prototype of His heavenly abode. It was an Earthly representation of a Heavenly reality. It wasn’t Heaven, but it was close enough. Once the Tabernacle was built according to those very specific instructions, the glory of God manifested in this particular room, the Holy of Holies. He was dwelling in the midst of His people through that Tabernacle.
But the Tabernacle was a portable tent-like structure and once Israel had gone into the Promised Land, David had a desire that was put into his heart by the Holy Spirit to build a permanent structure that could serve as a dwelling place for God’s presence. When the temple was finished, the glory of God came down and filled that temple.
2 Chronicles 7:1-3 says, “ And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the Lord upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshipped, and praised the Lord, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.“
HE IS WITH US
The same glory that was prophesied to return came down on the night that Jesus was born. The angels announced that the glory of God had returned to Israel again. Haggai said that the glory of the second temple would be greater than the first.
The manifestation of God’s Shekinah Glory appeared in the first temple, and it was so heavy that the priests were unable to stand to minister and the people seeing it fell on their faces. But the second temple did not see any glory, fire, or supernatural echo from Heaven.
God created a way through the temple to interface with humanity but when Jesus came into the world it was a totally different paradigm. What happened in the incarnation is that God stepped personally into our sphere. He put on human flesh to feel, see and hear how we did. When he died, it was a physical human body that died on the cross.
John 1:14 says, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” The eternal, transcendent, everlasting, divine, omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent word of God became flesh.
Just as the Tabernacle had skins of animals, Jesus put on the skin of man. It was no longer just an interface. God was with us. He was really here. Nothing on Earth could ever compare to the miracle that God wrapped Himself in human flesh and made His home among us.
How can you grow closer to Jesus? The word became flesh so he could dwell with you.
Are you ready to experience His glory? He desires a relationship with you. Do not hesitate. Jesus is here.