God’s Real Presence
God isn’t bothered by our focus on presents this Christmas as long as we know His real presence. Up until the time of Christ came God and man were separated by an uncrossable gap. God spoke through prophets and directed through the law, but the people didn’t know what the presence of God was like. The only way to get to heaven was by strict adherence to the law. They had to be really good people. God wanted to be close to his people again. He wasn’t satisfied with that arrangement, so he did something about it. Someone had to bridge that gap that sin had caused. The only one capable of that was his very own son.
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
A Sign of Things to Come
God speaks through the prophet Isaiah to King Ahaz. He tells him that through a supernatural birth God will be with us again (Immanuel). We know this as a prophecy of the Virgin Birth of Christ. The long-awaited Messiah was going to come through a woman who had not known a man. God’s presence would once again be on earth.
We need to understand God’s great desire to be with us. He moved heaven and earth to reunite us with Him. What was designed in the Garden of Eden, and ruined by sin, can only be restored by His Son. He chose to start with an innocent, helpless child to enact his plan of redemption. He chose a young woman full of virtue to bear the savior of the world. That child grew into a man who fulfilled all of the Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah.
The Presence of God
One of the lies that Satan tells us is that God doesn’t want to be near us because we have done so many things wrong. That couldn’t be any further from the truth. God sacrificed everything so that He could be near us. His son Jesus humbled himself and became a man so that he could endure everything necessary to make things right with God. All that needs to complete the reunion between man and God is our repentance of our sin, our belief that Jesus is the Son of God, and our receiving of his salvation. Then we will know something those in the Old Testament never did, the Presence of God.