Immanuel: The Son Revealed in the Old Testament

Immanuel: The Son Revealed in the Old Testament

Many centuries before he was born in Bethlehem, God revealed his Son to his people, the man who would be called Jesus, because he would save his people from their sins (Matt. 1:21). God fulfilled his promise to send his one and only Son so that all who believe in him may have eternal life (John 3:16).

Try to imagine God taking on a human body. With God all things are possible of course—the incarnation is not too difficult for God, even though our thinking about it might make our finite heads swirl. Yet, should we be surprised that God came in the form of a suffering servant—the man Jesus Christ, who would save his people from their sins? Let’s go back to the biblical writings a number of centuries before the incarnation.

“The virgin shall conceive and bear a son” (Isa. 7:14).

About 700 years before Jesus was born in the flesh, the prophet Isaiah proclaimed,

“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” [which means “God with us”]. (Isa. 7:14; see also Matt. 1:23)

A child would be born who would rule on the throne of David forever:

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isa. 9:6).

Isaiah wrote that “the zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this” (Isa. 9:7). In other words, God would bring a child into the world to save and rule his people forever.

“You are my Son; today I have begotten you” (Ps. 2:7).

The prophet Micah, also writing about 700 years before Jesus’ birth, said the king would come from Bethlehem:

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days. (Mic. 5:2)

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