Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Solus Christus: God With Us

We’ve seen in past devotions that God’s promise of redemption, which first showed itself in Ge. 3:15, has taken many forms in the Old Testament but most often it took the form of prophecy. In God’s promise of redemption, He’s told us many things about the Messiah—that He would be a prophet, priest, king, judge, shepherd, suffering servant, and much more. God even went so far as to tell us how the Messiah would come into the world and who the Messiah would be at the very core of His being. In today’s meditation we’re going to see this in a prophecy God gave to King Ahaz through Isaiah:
10 Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz, 11 “Ask a sign of the LORD your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven.” 12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, and I will not put the LORD to the test.” 13 And he said, “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary men, that you weary my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (Is. 7:10-14)
Nearly seven hundred years before Christ, God promised that His Redeemer would be born into mankind from a virgin, and He promised that at the very core of His being the Messiah would be God Himself with us. Then, at the turn of the eon, when Joseph needed assurance that Mary had not been unfaithful to him, an angel appeared to him in a dream and said:
20 ”...Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
    and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). (Mt. 1:20-23)
The Messiah is God Himself with us. Jesus is God Himself with us. The baby boy conceived in Mary’s womb is God with us. This is, of course, what we celebrate at Christmas and what we prepare to celebrate in Advent. The second person of the Godhead became man to save us from our sins. God not only promised redemption but God Himself came to accomplish it. Jesus is God with us, born of a virgin, and it was prophesied seven hundred years before it happened.

On this day of Advent remember that God not only planned to redeem His people but that He planned to redeem His people Himself. Remember that He didn’t just sit on His throne in heaven and provide some impersonal, distant way of redemption but that He sent His only Son—the second person of the Trinity—to accomplish it personally. Advent reminds us that the God we worship isn’t some remote, divine dictator who rules His universe from a distance. He’s the God who came into the dirty, sinful world personally to save His people through the second person of the Trinity and now personally makes His residence in His people through third person of the Trinity. He’s also the God who will one day create a completely new heaven and new earth for His people where He “himself will be with them as their God.” Praise Him on this day of Advent for His glorious, personal presence with you. Ask Him to speed the day of Christ’s return so we can be with Him personally for all eternity in the new heavens and the new earth. Perhaps today could be the day.

By His Grace,

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