Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
“Being interpreted …”, we brush past those words because of the phrase that follows, “God with us.” Who can blame us? Those three so powerful words are enough to captivate the soul! I submit to you today, on Christmas Day, that the ones leading up to it are just as powerful.
Interpret means more than to explain the meaning of something. It also means to translate orally or into sign language the words of a person speaking a different language. We spoke a different language than He did.
Ours was a dialect of dirt, sin, dust, and ashes. His was a conversation of the Heavens, perfection, and the stars. How could we understand Him? The only way, was an interpreter.
God, wrapped in flesh, to interpret His will to us. Jesus did this by living each day, sinless, in a sinful world. He did this by ministering to a flawed people. Most of all, He accomplished it by dying for His creation.
The third meaning of interpret is to
perform a dramatic role or piece of music in a particular way that conveys one’s understanding of the creator’s ideas. He knew that we could only comprehend The Master’s love through the music that was His life.
Like a performance, it began softly, on a dark night in David’s town. We watched Him grow as He sat in the Temple, opening men’s eyes, while still a boy Himself. We saw the impact of His ministry, the miracles yes, but more than that, Christ’s message. Man could lift their head above the dirt, higher than this plain of sin and mortality.
The climax of the piece was Calvary. Did you know that the words being interpreted are also in Mark and John? In John it appears, being interpreted Master and Christ. He explained what it meant to trust in Him. In Mark, it refers to Golgotha, being interpreted, the place of the skull. He explained that death didn’t have to be final.
Most commentators believe that the stable was in a cave. That means His life began in a cave, and returned to a cave in death. Of course, three days later, He left it never to return! The point is, God, the speaker of the Heavenly, came to the most Earthbound thing on the planet to communicate with us.
At His birth, and in His life, He interpreted God to man. In His death, He interpreted Salvation to sinners, and translated our sufferings. God knew how it felt to be forsaken so that we would never be alone.
He spoke our language so that we could learn His. He cried so that we could laugh. He died so that we would be free of death, and was born so that we could be born again.
On this Christmas Day, “God with us” is Awesome. Still “being interpreted”, God walking our world so we could fly to His, is pretty incredible too!