“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).” (Matt 1:23)
If we were to list all the particularly sweet verses in the Bible (Psalm 19:10), this verse would no doubt make the list. The promise made through Isaiah is now quoted by the angel, finding its fulfilment in Jesus. This son of a virgin has long been anticipated and is now finally arriving on the scene.
Why is this verse so sweet? Because what had long been lost is finally restored. When our first parents, Adam and Eve, were created they enjoyed perfect harmony with God. They heard his voice and enjoyed fellowship with him.
One of the many tragedies of that horrendous day when humanity fell into sin was that our fellowship with God was lost. We were cast out of the Garden and his presence. (Gen 3:24).
The story of the Bible could be summarised as God bringing his people back into his presence. Pictures of being in God’s presence are scattered throughout. Exodus finished with God in the tabernacle in the middle of the camp. That tent was eventually superseded by the temple.
This is again superseded, now by a person. In Jesus, God once again walks with his people. And now, because he has ascended, he sent his Spirit to be with us. When he was with us bodily he was isolated to one place and group of people, but in the Spirit he is with us all (Jn 16:7).
While we long for Christ’s return we can rejoice that we are never alone. When the world turns against us and we feel alone, or when we are physically lonely, we need not despair. God, in Christ, by his Spirit, is with us.