Along with the saving work of the Lord Jesus, His incarnation brought the presence of God to earth in a very special way. Isaiah prophesied; “the Lord Himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel [God is with us]” (Isaiah 7:14). This is repeated by Matthew (1:23). The presence of God in the person of Jesus was evident in many ways, and some of these ways pleased people as they were healed, but when Jesus exercised His divine authority in forgiving sins (9:2), the religious leaders were furious at Him. “God is with us” was especially comforting to mothers and fathers who would have lost their children if He had not been there to stop the march of death. This was true for the disciples in a storm on the Sea of Galilee.
Imagine the comfort of Immanuel after the resurrection! For three days they thought all their hope had ended in a borrowed grave. “See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have” (Luke 24:39) changed everything! Did this precious presence of God end when “he was lifted up, and a cloud took Him out of their sight” (Acts 1:9)? An absolute “NO”!
Remember the promise of Jesus just before He ascended into heaven; “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20; see also Mark 16:20; John 14:23). Throughout John 14 to 17, there are many references that indicate Jesus’ abiding presence and how that would continue through the Holy Spirit.
What difference will this make in your approach to life, ministry and missions? We minimized His power and presence because we may think of God’s presence only in heaven. He is here and He is working with His people who acknowledge the need of His presence.
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