Immanuel means “God with us”. This is the name that refers to Jesus’ prophetic role in scripture. The prophecies that can be seen in Isaiah point directly to Jesus!
We read in Isaiah 7:14 that “a virgin will bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” That is why it was so important that Jesus was born of a virgin, because that was one of the signs to the Jewish people that this would be the promised Messiah. The Messiah is the ultimate hope of the Jewish people – only He can save them and release them from the law. This verse in Isaiah was written hundreds of years before Jesus was born and Jesus was the fulfilment of it. Immanuel is not a familiar or a personal name that we see used for Jesus but it is the name of the promised Messiah and it declares Jesus to be the promised one. By calling Jesus “God with us” we are saying that He is the promised one, the Messiah, the one who was prophesied in Isaiah and would restore mankind. He is the one who has brought man and God together.
By declaring that Jesus is Immanuel, we are saying that He is the fulfilment of every prophecy in the Old Testament. He is God who was sent to live on the earth with man. He is exactly who He said that He was: God sent to earth. We are declaring that Jesus is the fulfilment of every prophecy given and that He is the perfect Saviour. We are saying that God came to earth and lived among us, He made a temporary home in His creation and ultimately sacrificed Himself on their behalf. He is Immanuel! He is not far from us, He is not distant, but He humbled Himself and walked on the earth with us. What other God would come to earth and die a criminals death?
The virgin birth is not just a part of the nativity play. It is one of the many signs that point out that Jesus is Immanuel. Jesus was God in the flesh who was born on the earth. Christmas is the celebration of His birth, the birth of Immanuel, the promised one! Let us not lose the wonder of Immanuel, God who is with us.