Immanuel of Old and of New (Christmas Devotional)

Phyllis Nissila

ABXSJRZCA426IBQCA6AJPK7CAYLUJBICAK1AN0XCAF45UW6CAFSQO7SCAUID9B0CAYODJWJCAPGW58NCA6ASB8MCARSK2XSCAMRLJGZCA4DX4ULCA71I301CAA83UBHCAZXU4BJCA3HDNDECAC937F5My friend Elizabeth told me she was a “hard convert,” that is, she became a Christian through studying Old Testament scriptures as a Jewish youngster in Hebrew school.

What Elizabeth studied in class year after year eventually convinced her that He Who was referenced in the first 39 books of the sacred text was the Messiah of the latter 27 books which, out of curiosity, she also read.

She came to understand how the prophecies detailed B.C. came to life in One, Jesus of Nazareth, A.D., Whose birth Christians commemorate at Christmas. At length, this prompted her to receive Jesus Christ as her personal Lord and Savior, her personal Messiah.

And there you have it. The scope and sequence of redemptive history boils down to one person at a particular time and in a particular, sometimes surprising, circumstance. It could be a youngster, like my friend, gleaning the Good News revealed in the New Testament through studying the prophecies of the Old.

Or a young mother back in 1973 deciding to read the Bible because it’s the all-time best-seller and she was “into reading best sellers,” but the words of this book, some of which she’d heard before, suddenly took on new meaning.

Or another who perhaps reads only the heartbreak, loneliness, or confusion of his life just now and who turns to the Word in song or sermon or manifest in the kindness of others and realizes anew the power of turning to Jesus Christ for hope and help…

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My sister Claire who writes a corporate newsletter crafted this succinct summary of key events in redemptive history for the current edition:







Abraham, Isaac, Jacob




David ben Jesse







(In other words):

(The) Child Who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.

Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet (Isaiah 7:14): “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, ‘God with us’” (Matthew 1:20-23 NASB). (Reprinted with permission.)

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At this season, gentle reader, I pray you will realize for the first time or perhaps anew the hope and joy in God’s redemptive plan, whatever your circumstance, wherever you are.

Joyous Noel!


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1 Response to Immanuel of Old and of New (Christmas Devotional)

  1. Cathy says:

    Merry Christmas to all!
    I was convicted by the Holy Spirit 3.5 years ago! Since that incredible time in my life, I realized the true meaning of Christ Jesus and “The Word Of God!”
    He saved my life and has given me Eternal Life, He is Emanuel(God with Us!)
    My hope for Christmas, is that my husband and daughters, see they are not saved by the Roman Catholic Church, but Christ Alone!


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