All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” Matthew 1:22-23
Holiness is required to distance itself from that which is unholy. But our compassionate Father has forged a path to bridge the gap between His holiness and our unholiness, all through His perfect and beloved Son, Jesus. The name Immanuel proclaims the truth that our God is not distant but actively present in the world. It is a reminder that God is not a passive observer but actively engaged in our lives as His beloved creation.
Christ had to be the one to find us in our lostness, and so, 2,000 years ago, He left the throne room of heaven to reside with the meek and lowly.
In Matthew 1:22-23, we witness the fulfillment of God's promise, the birth of Jesus Christ, our Immanuel. This event serves as a powerful reminder of God's faithfulness, His love for us, and His desire to be with us in every season of our lives. The miraculous truth then is that we don’t worship a God who merely holds open the door of heaven but who left heaven behind, running to us and embracing us with all grace and mercy to walk beside us on our way home.
“Immanuel” names our God an active pursuer and mediator of His creation. He takes the initiative in the relationship between humanity and Himself. It is not humans striving to reach God, but God actively seeking us. It emphasizes that salvation is not achieved through human efforts but through Christ's work. We cannot find our way to heaven on our own; instead, it is Christ who reaches out to us in our lost state. It is merely up to us to accept this invitation through belief and dependence on Him as our Savior.
The intentional design of this shirt is the topography of ancient Jerusalem. It is here that our Savior didn’t just walk among us and dwell with us, but where He also died for us, ushering in the gift of salvation to the world so that we ourselves could dwell with God forever.
Therefore, the wonderful and miraculous name of "God with us" takes on even more significance when we recognize that one day soon, it will transform into "us with God.” God walked with His creation in the garden, instructed the building of the Tabernacle in order to dwell with His people in the Old Testament, leading to His literal and miraculous dwelling among us by becoming human flesh, and is with us now through the gift of the Holy Spirit. Moreover, one day soon, we will be with Him when He makes all things new and makes an eternal home with us.