Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
Not only is His very birth a miraculous paradox, but by His name, Immanuel, Jesus is God with Us. He is this Immanuel, who comes to sojourn with us in our weakness and humility, who takes our sin upon Himself and makes full atonement for it. Not because there was anything in us to make us deserving of His sacrifice or even presence, but His love for us was — is! — so great that He did for us what we could not do for ourselves. He rescued us on Calvary and still rescues us every day by His great love and compassion. Where do you see His rescue in your life? Even when it’s hard to see, we stand on truth – He is our Immanuel – God with us.
Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.
In Judaic religious practice, the priest was the one who would make intercession for the people by performing the sacrifices of the offerings people brought to atone for their sins, acting as intercessor between the sinful person and Holy God. Once a year, the High Priest would enter the Holy of Holies, where he performed an atoning sacrifice for the sins of Israel, again in that intercessory capacity. Adding “Great” to that title in reference to our Great High Priest indicates the all-encompassing nature of what He has done on our behalf. Not only has He interceded for us, but He did it with His own body, broken, and His own blood, outpoured. His sacrifice and His acting as Great High Priest, has bridged the chasm between sinful humans and Holy God. Celebrate this season knowing your sins are covered!
The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.
Jesus as Chief Cornerstone certainly gives us a solid mental image of the Truth that He alone is our firm foundation. He holds up the buildings that are our lives, our families, our purpose, our worth, and our souls. However, this passage reminds us that this Cornerstone, this Foundation was rejected by men, deemed not good enough, not worthwhile. We know differently, and when the world rejects Him, we stand in the knowledge that He does not reject us. We run to Him in His Word for sure footing, solid grounding on which to build in this world. Take a moment today to hold a stone in your hand and remember His faithfulness in the midst of this world full of rejection.