O come, O come, Emmanuel…
We need Jesus Christ so much. In this song, He is being called out for. There is an understanding of the fact that Emmanuel, the God who saves, is needed.
And ransom captive Israel…
Israel knows that they are captive under the Roman government, but what they don’t realize is just how captive they are to their own sin. We are all sinners and we need the God who saves us from our sinfulness.
I think that we often forget just how much we need Christ in our lives. Israel eagerly anticipated a Messiah to save them from the oppression that they had faced for many years and generations, but what they didn’t realize was how much they needed someone to save them from themselves.
Around this time of year, it is easy to think of the tiny baby Jesus who came to earth; and it feels like a cute story that involves lambs and donkeys and you can just hear the collective “awwww”, we settle in to watch a Christmas movie. But Christ is so much more than that. He came to this earth knowing that He would die bearing the sins of the world.
The image of Christ in the manger is a sweet one, one we put in our nativity scenes, but it is probably not how we would envision the God of the universe coming into the world to save us. We imagine a king, born in a great place, with servants and good food so that He can grow up to be the one who has influence and can fix all the problems we have. But that isn’t how He comes. Instead, He is born in a stable full of animals and wrapped in cloth. He did not come in a way that would make any of us go, “Wow, this is the One who will someday save us.”.
Then Christ did save us. He died a death that no one would ever choose. A painful death that was shameful and long. The long-awaited Messiah ransomed Israel from the cross.
Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel, shall come to thee, O Israel…
We rejoice knowing that Christ did come, that He was born and grew up and that He is our Savior who has ransomed us from what we were truly captive to. Let us not forget during this time that Christ is the one we need. He is not some baby that we celebrate at Christmas time because He’s cute. He is the Messiah who came and saved us from ourselves.