Friday, February 7, 2020

Friday - Matthew 28 - Immanuel - God with Us

E usually associate the name Immanuel with the beginning of Christ's life, not with the end; with Christmas rather than with Easter. Yet, the resurrection of Christ is a perfect setting for a discussion about this great name. Truly, at Christ's incarnation the name Immanuel was particularly fitting.  God became a man.  He came to live among us. Yet, more than anything else it is His resurrection that proves His divine nature. And, beyond that, the Gospel of Matthew ends with a record of this gracious proclamation from the lips of the risen Christ, "Lo, I am with you always" (vs. 20). Immanuel, God with us. And, He is still with us. That is the whole point. Jesus was resurrected, and later we will read of His ascension back to the Father, yet He is with us.

Now, the presence of Christ with us could be attributed to His divinity. Especially in His exalted state, He exercises all His divine attributes, including His omnipresence. But there is more to this than just that. He did not say, "Lo, I am everywhere" or "Lo, I'll be everywhere forever."  No, He said, "Look, realize, remember, I am with you wherever you go, forever." He was speaking of His indwelling presence.  We have the Spirit of Christ. He is on us, in us, working through us, doing great things for us and to us.

Matthew 28 presents us with a very basic account of Christ's resurrection. Well, not the resurrection itself, but the account of various people's discovery of His resurrection. Here we are, 2000 years later, still amazed & rejoicing because of this news.

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