All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: ‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel’ (which means, God with us). —Matthew 1:22–23
Immanuel is my favorite name that God has revealed for Himself. To me, it captures the longing of God to be with His children. In a sense, Immanuel is where our story began, how everything gets set right, and where it all is going.
Everything began with Immanuel, God with us. In the garden of Eden, God was with Adam and Eve. He walked with them in the cool of the evening. All was well. God dwelt with His children in unbroken fellowship and joy. They experienced Immanuel, God with us.
Then sin invaded God’s good world through Adam and Eve’s disobedience, and they were cast out of the garden. Their experience of Immanuel was shattered. A holy God could no longer be with His sin-infested children. Their connection (and ours) with Immanuel was lost.
The story of the Bible is really about how God made a way to dwell once again with His people. The temple was a temporary arrangement that brought God closer. Then Jesus came—the incarnate one, Immanuel, God with us. Through His sacrificial death, the temple veil was torn, granting access to the presence of God. And with the Holy Spirit, we now have Immanuel, God with us, as we live in this broken world.
The story isn’t over. One day, God will make all things new. There will be a new heaven and a new earth, and in that glorious day, “the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God” (Revelation 21:3). In the end, we will experience the fullness of Immanuel and God will be with us forever and always.
And in that day of Immanuel, we will realize: We’ve always been loved, more than we know.