In a time of conflict Isaiah prophesied a saviour or rescuer. A baby who would be called Immanuel (“God with us”.)
22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.
Most days the thought of needing to be rescued does not cross our minds. However, when we do find ourselves in trouble or in difficult situations it is a relief to be rescued and taken care of.
When I think of being rescued, images of a superhero come to mind. The superhero needs to swoop into the dangerous situation in a spectacular fashion and grab the victim from the clutches of death and deposit them safely away from danger. In reality our rescue heroes nowadays are far less obvious and consist of the call centre person who sorts through frustrations with poor internet connections and gets us back on line, the electrician who gets our broken oven working again, or a roadside assistant who jump starts our car so we can continue on our journey. This is not very dramatic but the sense of relief once our 21st century ‘disasters’ are taken care of is very real.
About 700 years BC during a time of conflict with threatened invasion, the people then needed rescuing too. Isaiah prophesied that the King of Judah, Ahaz, and his people would not be torn apart in conflict. Isaiah stated that the sign from God confirming the truth of his words would be a baby born of a virgin who would be called Immanuel (“God with us”.) He was describing how God would send a rescuer to the world – a rescuer who would be the ultimate conqueror of evil.
This baby would be called by a name that would describe how he would rescue us – “God with us”. Jesus was with us in this world conquering evil while he lived. He was with us in his death and by his death clutched us back from our own deaths. He was with us after the resurrection and after he ascended to heaven till this day. He is with us in the form of the Holy Spirit.
In this world we do need rescuing every day – we are in the middle of a constant conflict, we have a powerful evil enemy distracting us and tempting us. In this world our fate is death and we do need a rescue hero to save us in order to have eternal life. In the Gospel Isaiah’s prophecy is fulfilled: Jesus the baby he spoke of is born and reveals himself, and we can ask him and trust him to rescue us and know he is with us – Immanuel.
Head: God with us – Immanuel. Have you asked him to be with you and to be your personal rescuer?
Heart: God with us – Immanuel. Have you felt his presence? Have you felt his influence on your life when distracted or tempted?
Hands: God with us – Immanuel. When God is with you, you will reveal him to others. When you go out into your day, help stand against injustice, greed and other unfair practices.
Prayer: Dear Lord, I praise and thank you for working out a rescue plan for me. Would you please be with me and save me from the distractions and temptations I face every day. Would you please be with me and save me from death to eternal life. May I know and trust in your presence with me every day as I go about my daily chores. Please reveal yourself in me to others so that they may too see your perfect love. I pray this in the name of Jesus, amen.
A song to listen to: From the Day
This Grow Daily was originally posted as part of a previous series in Matthew in 2017. During the School Holidays we take the opportunity to look back at the best of Grow Dailys over the years.