“‘…AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL,’ which translated means, “‘GOD WITH US’” (Matthew 1:23, NASB).
Immanuel—God with us! This thought is incomprehensible. Yet it has always been God’s desire to dwell with humans. After Adam and Eve sinned, the first words of God to Adam were, “Where are you?”
Instance after instance, too many to be noted in an article this brief, can be cited to show how God sought to dwell with people in human history. In the Old Testament, perhaps no greater demonstration can be seen than the spectacular Tabernacle and its Holy of Holies (cf. Exodus 25:8; 29:45–46; 40:34–38), confirmed in the magnificent Temple constructed by Solomon (1 Kings 8:10–13). It was a tragic day when God’s glory so reluctantly departed from the temple, sorrowfully reported by Ezekiel (Ezekiel 9:3; 10:2–4, 18–19; 11:23).
Centuries after the vision given by Ezekiel, an angel of the Lord announced that a child was conceived in the Virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit, and His name would be called Immanuel. Of course, that was exactly who Jesus was (John 14:9). He was here a short time, and after His crucifixion and resurrection, He was taken from this earth.
Today, He is with us by means of three temples or sanctuaries—the human bodies of believers (1 Corinthians 6:19), local churches (1 Corinthians 3:16), and the universal church (Ephesians 2:19–22). This age will be culminated by Christ’s coming for us and taking us to Himself at the resurrection and rapture of the Church (John 14:2–3; 1 Thessalonians 4:16–18; 1 Corinthians 15:50–52; 2 Corinthians 5:2–4).
Then in the Millennium Christ Himself will dwell with us in a gloriously magnificent temple predicted in Ezekiel 40:1–44:3. And in eternity, there will be no temple for Christ Himself will be in the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:22). “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them” (Revelation 21:3). Then it will be Immanuel—GOD WITH US—forever and ever.