Friday, January 1, 2016

Daily Bible Reading | Immanuel "God with us"

And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us. 
Matthew 1:21-23, NKJV
The Incarnation of Jesus Christ is truly remarkable.

That the Eternal Son of God would condescend to become a man is astonishing enough, but that He should become a fetus in the uterus of a peasant girl from Palestine--that He should spend nine months in the womb and then pass through the birth canal like any other human baby--is so scandalizing that millions of people around the world utterly refuse to believe that it took place.

Jesus of Nazareth might have been an actual man who lived and died in Palestine 2000 years ago, but he cannot be God. At least, that is what they say; that is also what the religious leaders said in the time that Jesus lived. It is the same story circulating for centuries: God couldn't possibly have become a man; it is blasphemy even to suggest such a thing.

And it might have been blasphemy to suggest such a thing...if God had not ordained it. But God did ordain it. The immortal, invisible, only wise God became mortal.

But why? Why would God take on human flesh? Why would the immortal become mortal?

God became Man in order to die.

This is quite literally the crux of the matter: the cross.

The Eternal Son of God became a Man so that He could die for the sins of His people. He came to offer Himself as a ransom for many. Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sins, so Jesus came as a Man to freely give His blood to be shed for us.

Denying either the deity or the humanity of Jesus Christ strips His cross of its power to save. He must be Man in order to die, and He must be God because only a perfect sacrifice would make atonement--a Lamb without spot or blemish--and only God is perfect.

Jesus Christ is the only hope for a cursed and hell-bound humanity. Look to Him today and trust in His cross--that it was enough to satisfy God's justice against your sin--and in His death and resurrection--that it holds the promise that all who trust in Him will be raised to glory with Him forever.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 
John 3:16-18, NKJV

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