We have peace with God and can point others to the peace that only comes through Immanuel (God with us) because Jesus is our life. We know the love of God and can love others only because Jesus is Immanuel and he is our life. We know the light of Immanuel and can be his light only because Jesus is our life.
The beauty and glory and majesty of Immanuel – God with us is that we now have new life in Jesus Christ. This is not only a past experience and it is not only a future hope; it is a present reality.
John wrote that life is found in Jesus (John 1:3). Jesus said that whoever gives up his or her own life will find new life (Luke 9:24). Paul wrote that we were dead but have now been made alive in Christ (Ephesians 2:5).
This is the life that was promised long ago when Ezekiel said that God would place his Spirit within us (Immanuel – God with us), and he would remove our dead stony heart and replace it with a living heart (Ezekiel 36:26).
As Christ now lives a new life in and through us, we can also offer new life to others – a life that doesn’t originate from ourselves or from the other person, but a life that originates from Immanuel – God with us. We point others toward the real life in Christ that Scripture calls “eternal life.”
Often, the external (the physical or the fleshly part of us) does not look like life. It is often in our weakness or sickness or oppression or death that true life appears. As Paul wrote:
But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;Â always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you. (2 Corinthians 4:7-12 ESV)
How do we live this life – this Immanuel life? By dying to our own life. How do we demonstrate this eternal life to others? Again, by dying to our own life.
Jesus Christ – as Immanuel – God with us – turns our death into new life. When we forsake ourselves for him, he floods us with living water and turn that death into life. This is the life we have in Christ and the life that we can demonstrate to others. It is not a life that is manufactured by our hard work, but a life that is created by Christ when we die to ourselves.
We live today when Jesus Christ – Immanuel – God with us – is allowed to live through us. We offer that life to others when we die to ourselves.