O Come, O Come Immanuel
“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a Son,
and will call Him Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14
The ancient and prominent Advent hymn bids God to fulfill His promise and come to us in His incarnate Son! It is a call for ransom from the captivity of sin. God had promised long ago to rescue His disobedient and wayward people from the shackles of sin that enslaved them and the ultimate consequence of death. This covenant promise that God extended to His chosen nation was renewed and passed on down through the generations of Abraham, Jesse, King David, and the Children of Israel. We celebrate that gracious and undeserved gift of love forgiveness and salvation at Christmas time in the incarnation of God as the baby Jesus! Through this promise fulfilled, all the nations of the earth would be blessed in the Messiah-Savior, Jesus the Christ! The virgin conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and gave birth to the God-Son, Jesus Christ, who would be sacrificed for the sins of the whole world. And, all who believed in Him would have forgiveness, salvation and eternal life!
Immanuel Has Come!
“When the time set had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law.” Galatians 4:4
At the divinely appointed time, God sent forth His one and only Son, the Word became flesh and dwelt among us in the manger in Bethlehem. He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, and taken up in glory! All this took place to fulfill what was spoken of Him by the prophets. Jesus was born as the baby in Bethlehem, the love of God incarnate and “God with us.” He was born as true God and true man so that He would live under the Law that He fulfilled perfectly for us – and so that He could pay the price of the sins of mankind in dying on the cross thirty-some years later. God and man, heaven and earth became very close in this gift of the Christ child. He who knew no sin, no death, no consequence of evil came into the world to know sin, know death and to know the consequences of evil. He offered Himself as the perfect propitiation and sacrifice for our disobedience and sin – the greatest Passover Lamb of God!
Immanuel Continues to Come!
“I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever.
The bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” John 6:51
This very same Jesus Christ, the Word of promise and the Word of fulfillment who came into the world to save people from their sins continues to come to His people and the world in the means of grace: the Holy Word; and the Holy Sacraments. Granted it is not “incarnate” in the same way as it was when He came to be born of the Virgin Mary. Still, He comes to us in a very real way! He comes to us in His Holy Word, the Bible, as the Bread of Life who nurtures us in His Law and Gospel. He reveals to us who He is, what He has done for us and what His holy will is. He comes to us in the ‘real presence’ of His body and blood in the Holy Sacrament of His body and blood. The very same Jesus who broke bread and passed the cup of Communion comes to us today in His true body and true blood – given and shed for us for the greatest Christmas gift of all time and eternity: forgiveness life and salvation!
May the precious peace of the Immanuel that surpasses all understanding, bless and keep you in this season of the Christmas celebration to eternity! A most blessed Christmas to each and every one of you who are precious and redeemed by the Immanuel, Jesus! Amen!
~ Pastor Dennis Krueger