Matthew 1:23 NIV “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”–which means, “God with us.”
Matthew in his gospel quoted these words from the writing of Isaiah (Isa.7:14). In the setting in which it was spoken, it was a symbolic name which was part of a prophecy assuring king Ahaz of Judah (734 BC) of God’s protection against enemy kings. However, Matthew reveals that the significance of the prophecy goes beyond God’s assurance to Israel, rather it is a sign to the world of God’s perpetual presence, and guarantee of salvation.
The Birth of Christ was significant because it was the commencement of God’s plan to save mankind from the destruction of sin. It altered the spiritual climate of the world; while the devil may not have known the exact plan, he realized that there was something up, and went on a rampage to kill babies (Matt.2:16-18). The Magi from the east noticed that something had changed in the constellation, and for about 2 years they set out to follow the stars. Not only that, there was also the introduction of another prophetic voice, through John the Baptist, after a dark period of about 400 years from the days of Malachi (Joh.1:6).
The significance of Christmas is that we have a perpetual assurance that God is with us. When a person accepts Christ as Lord, God through His Spirit then indwells the person, providing an assurance of an eternal hope. It is a change in the spiritual climate of life. The power of Christ is available to any believer to turn darkness into light and inspire hope in the midst of all tragedy. Christ’s birth points to the fact that times of refreshing are at hand. Despite the attempt of Satan to bring destruction, there is an assurance from God that makes one untouchable.
Christmas is a very lonely and sad time for people, but we have a message of hope. Don’t be self absorbed this season, see the light and share that light with others.
Scriptures to Meditate: Isa.9:6-7, Eph.3:14-20, 1 Joh.3:8, Joh.1:1-5,12,16; 3:16