This advent season I have heard a lot about two terms; Behold and Immanuel. The word “Behold” is used 1298 times in the whole Bible. It means to look intensely not just a glance but to gaze upon, regard, pay attention to something special.
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
Immanuel means God with us. It is a title (among others given) and not another name for Jesus. Immanuel is spelled with an I in Hebrew (old testament) and an E in Greek (new testament). In Hebrew the title expresses the wonder of the incarnation, that God became flesh and made His dwelling with man. (John 1:14)
Ward Cushman, in an article on To Every Nation, gives four reasons why Jesus’ title Immanuel is important to us.
- Immanuel means the Father showed Himself to us.
- Immanuel means Jesus identified Himself with us
- Immanuel means Jesus gave Himself for us.
- Immanuel means the Father, Son and Spirit have stayed with us.
He promises to be with us Matthew 18:20. One way that is fulfilled is by the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives John 14:16-18. This means we can rely upon Him. Immanuel is a practical truth that can change your life. The shepherds were given the glorious message of good news and told to go, see, examine, and investigate for themselves.
And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ (Messiah) the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” Luke 2:10-11
Behold -have you examined this good news for yourself? Prophecy was and will be fulfilled because God keeps all of His promises. The Messiah, our Savior was born as a baby in very humble circumstances and not in a palace so all people could draw near. And because He was confined to time and space Jesus understands all of our problems. Remember this Christmas that God loves us so much He gave His only Son to be the ultimate sacrifice for sin. The question remains, is there room in your busy life for him? He promises internal and eternal peace and joy despite our current difficulties. We don’t have to be afraid of the future because Immanuel has come.
***Come and behold Him, born the King of angels . Come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord. ***