December 25

One of my all time favorite Christmas hymns is “O’ come o’ come Emanuel”.

O come, O come, Emmanuel

And ransom captive Israel

That mourns in lonely exile here

Until the Son of God appear

Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel

Shall come to thee, O Israel

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free

Thine own from Satan’s tyranny

From depths of Hell Thy people save

And give them victory o’er the grave

Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel

Shall come to thee, o Israel

O come, Thou Day-Spring

Come and cheer

Our spirits by Thine advent here

Disperse the gloomy clouds of night

And death’s dark shadows put to flight

Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel

Shall come to thee, o Israel

O come, Thou Key of David, come

And open wide our heavenly home

Make safe the way that leads on high

And close the path to misery

Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel

Shall come to thee, o Israel

This song gives me hope.

Emmanuel, the word means God with us. Having God take on human form, God becoming man, It means life and hope and a future for us, but what did it mean for Jesus?

He gave up heaven.

He left his father.

He left the angels.

He left eternity and entered time.

He left omnipresence and became 3 dimensional.

He spent 9 months inside of his mother.

He spent 33 years traveling through dusty and dirty Judea and Samaria.

Paul says this about Jesus taking on flesh.

“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death — even death on a cross!”

Philippians 2:5-8

The writer of Hebrews adds this:

“Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil — and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

Hebrews 2:14-18

Jesus gave up heaven for a little while so we could share it with him for eternity. He took on living in the flesh so he could sympathize with us, his fallen creation. He took on living in the flesh so he could live the perfect human life. He lived the perfect human life so he could be the one and only perfect human sacrifice. He became the perfect human sacrifice so he could pay for all my sin, all of our sin. He paid for all of our sin by dying a gruesome and painful death. He died and was buried for 3 days so that though my body will die, I will live forever with him because he rose from the dead, he left the grave and death behind him, conquered forever.

We do not, cannot reach up to God. We can never be good enough. This would be heartbreaking and soul crushing except for this truth. Our God has come down to us. Emanuel. God with us.

Author: Peterloeffelbein

I am a man. I am an older man. I am a husband and a dad and a grandpa. I am a disciple of Jesus. Because I am a disciple of Jesus much of what I write is about him, and I usually end what I write with a question, do you the reader know that Jesus loves you? He does. He loves us all but he loves you specifically. He loves me specifically. What will you do with that information today?