“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” Isaiah 7.14
When I see a street, I tend to obey it. Sometimes I roll through a stop sign if no one is looking! But I stop at red lights, go a green lights, and go faster at yellow lights! We who live in the USA typically following traffic signs and laws fairly well. We have been conditioned to look for the signs that offer direction, information and warnings.
The Bible is filled with signs as well. One website has listed 55 prophecies spoken about Jesus in the Old Testament. That’s a bunch. These signs are broken down in four categories, Jesus’ birth, his ministry, his death and resurrection and his role in the church. For more on this visit (https://www.jesusfilm.org/blog-and-stories/old-testament-prophecies.html).
How many signs do we need to drive from point A to point B. Today with Google maps we just follow the instructions on the app. But before the internet, we used paper maps and were much more aware of the road around us. We actually looked and followed signs to a “t” because if not, we’d get lost.
The signs about Jesus’ birth point towards his coming. Isaiah 7.14 is a perfect example of one Scripture the ancient Jews read in anticipation of the Messiah. Even King Herod knew this prophecy which is why he executed all the baby boys under the age of two years old in hopes of killing the Christ (See Matthew 2.16-18).
What do we know about this particular sign in Isaiah? First, the Lord himself gave it to the people. It didn’t come from humans or angels but from God. Shouldn’t this add value to the sign? Second, the particulars of the sign are astounding— a virgin gives birth to a son and they name him Immanuel. Who ever heard of a virgin giving birth? It’s inconceivable. It just doesn’t happen. And the last part, his name will be Immanuel – meaning “God with us.” How can this be?
If this sign was so clear, and directive, how did so many miss it? Were they not looking? Were they unaware or uninformed? Were they distracted by the drive that they forgot to take in the view? The landscape of God’s Word was littered with references to Jesus and it still is to this day.
The good news is that it’s not too late to recognize Jesus as messiah. He’s God’s gift to humanity this Christmas. Our gift in return is to offer our hearts to the king.
Will you offer your heart to the Christ? Will you invite him to your life? Will you surrender your soul to the one who was born of a virgin and is called “God among us”?
“O Lord God, draw near to your people. As the fall leaves populate the ground, so I lay myself before you, prostrate and imperfect. Come now, Holy Spirit, fill me with your power and love. Cover me with your grace that I might see your truth and communicate your love to the world. Thank you for using your servants and for allowing us to walk in your salvation. You are Immanuel, God among us. Reveal yourself to your people. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen