“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”Isaiah 7:14
"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6
Distrust – such a nasty truth. What do we do to overcome distrust? We all know how important trust is for a team, so what about our trust in God?
God did not play around when dealing with humanity’s distrust. “The Lord Himself will give a sign.” God did not leave the bridging of the gap between He and His creation to anyone other than Himself.
What Immanuel – God with us – signifies is that we have a Mighty God who is committed to seeing us in a relationship with Him. This God is so determined to be with us that He is willing to die for it. Immanuel tells us that there is only One True Shepherd; there is only One Savior. Rather than striking humanity down because we did not trust God and His word, God raises the bar by making good on His promise to give a sign that would be the ultimate representation of His love and of who He is.
The manger points to the empty tomb which leads to the “unrecognizable face” of the resurrected Lord – these three truths not only seal the truth of God making good on His promise, but they also challenge our gods of war and of pleasure, which are the projections of our own condition.
The birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus are the epitome of God with us. Isaiah’s declaration in 7:14 and then his reiteration of who Christ is in 9:6, points to the fact that followers of Christ worship a King who dramatically entered into the mess of life. A King who was born surrounded by animals and the stench of their poo. A King who lived as a rebel because He chose to love those society claimed to be unlovable. A King who lived abundantly because He lived by the Holy Spirit. A King who was beaten and killed for the sake of the other.
The world hopes to create a religion that downplays the truth of the Christmas miracle so as to elevate the emptiness of the consumer miracle. Society wishes to promote a religion that follows the shepherd of the self as opposed to the True Shepherd – our Savior.
We have no problem constructing a religion because then the shepherd created looks and sounds a lot like us. The Christmas message strikes against man-made religions or systems of belief.
The Christmas miracle as a whole is not an intellectual but a spiritual reality. The signs of God’s love, His birth and His death, go beyond our finite understanding and yet invite us into a meaning and mystery that can only be understood when we enter into relationship with Jesus Christ. Question is, which miracle are you participating in? Who is the shepherd of your Christmas miracle?