2 Corinthians 13: 5 Or do you not realize about yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you?
In 2018, Emmanuel Korir ran the year’s fastest 800m. His “1:42.05 was the fastest in the world since 2012 and puts him sixth on the world all-time list..”[i] He grew up outside Iten, Kenya and attended the same high school as world record holder David Rudisha. Emmanuel’s 2018 was not all rosy though as he missed the World Indoor Championships in the UK because of visa problems. On missing the championships, Korir wrote the following on his Facebook page: “Missing the World Indoor Championships…because of #systemisdown!!!? We must let go of the life we have planned, so as we accept the one that’s waiting for us. When you work hard for your dreams some people don’t care, but God is great.”
I don’t know Emmanuel Korir, however it appears that he has a good outlook on life, and I can shout an “AMEN” about God being great. Korir’s comment that: “We must let go of the life we have planned, so as we accept the one that’s waiting for us”, is particularly meaningful with his name being Emmanuel.
In Matthew 1 we read: 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). Isaiah prophesied Jesus’ birth giving him many names including: “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). As he walked on earth he was also called Rabbi/Teacher (John 3:2). Each name reveals important information regarding the nature and work of the Messiah, especially the name Emmanuel – God with us!
In John 1:14 we read “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” And from John 1:1 we know that the Word is Logos and is referring to God. More than anyone, Jesus knew his purpose in life, it was to come to earth, dwell with us, but ultimately to take upon his shoulders the sins of the world, which he did on the cross. As the hour approached of his crucifixion, he prayed: “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42). Through his son Jesus, the God of the universe humbled himself, was born in the likeness of men, and became obedient to the point of death (Philippians 2:5-8), for your sins, and for my sins.
I recently read from Joshua 1 where God encourages Joshua with a promise saying: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9b). I thought how amazing it would be to hear those words from God. But then it hit me. I thought if Joshua were here today, he’d say: “how amazing that the God of the universe became the Emmanuel to dwell with you, but even more so, dwell in you!” Paul wrote: “or do you not realize about yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you?” (2 Corinthians 13:5), and he further wrote: “I am crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me.” (Galatians 2:20).
During this Christmas Season consider how amazing it is that, not only is the God of the universe with us, not only did he come to dwell with us, but if you have accepted him as your personal saviour, he is also in us. God with us! God in us! Emmanuel!