Considering the names of Jesus for our Christmas acronym (See December 1 post), at first I found it hard to decide on the “I” name of Jesus. Should we focus on “I AM”? Or should it be “IMMANUEL”? Then I discovered that if we dig deeper, they are very much related! So we’ll look at both of them.
“I AM” goes back to God’s conversation with Moses at the burning bush in Exodus chapter 3. After God reassured Moses of His presence, He told Moses that “I AM WHO I AM” was His name, describing Himself as “The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob…this is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations.” I AM is the one personal name of God in the Old Testament, (YAHWEH) and describing Himself in that manner, He revealed Himself as the One who is always present with His people throughout generations and millenniums.
“IMMANUEL” means “God with us”, and the prophet Isaiah said that Jesus would be called Immanuel hundreds of years before His birth. (Isaiah 7:14) Are you getting the connection?
Fast forward several centuries. We find Jesus declaring Himself to be “I AM” (John 8:58), and as He left this earth, the last promise recorded in Matthew 28:20 is “I AM with you always, even to the end of the earth.” Here the relationship between I AM and IMMANUEL is obvious.
Just when we think it can’t get any better, it does! In Revelation 21, the description of the new heaven and the new earth includes the assurance that God “will dwell with them (us!) and they (we!) shall be His people. God Himself will be with them (us!) and be their (our!) God.” (verse 3)
I AM and IMMANUEL… what a reason to celebrate Jesus! He is God with us…FOREVER!