“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.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel (which means “God with us”) (Mt 1:21-23)
In this passage, we can find two names which refer to one person. One is Jesus and the other one is Immanuel. What does the name ‘Jesus’ mean? It means the one who saves his people from their sins, so this name reveals Jesus as the savior.
What does the other name ‘Immanuel’ mean? It means “God with us”. Thus, the name ‘Immanuel’ reveals the true purpose of his coming—he came to the earth to reconcile us with God again. The name Immanuel introduces Jesus as a reconciler. So, from His two names, we know that Jesus came not only to forgive our sins, but to reconcile us with God again.
God With Us
The concept of being with God was kind of scary in the Old Testament because the Israelites believed that if they—sinners—saw the holy God, they would surely die. We can easily find this concept in the Bible.
The tabernacle best shows the separation of people from God. In the tabernacle, there were two places—one is called the holy place and the other is called the Most Holy place. Priests could enter the first room, but no one could enter the second room—the Most Holy Place—except a high priest. Even the high priest was allowed to go into the Most Holy Place only one day a year, on the Day of Atonement.
The Most Holy Place was blocked by the thick curtain. So, the curtain represented the thick wall of sin that separated us from God. There was no way for us to get closer to God beyond the curtain.
However that curtain was completely torn down from top to bottom.
“With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last. The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.” (Mk 15:37-38)
When Jesus was crucified on the cross, the curtain that separated the Most Holy Place from us was torn. It means that, now we can boldly go to God and listen to Him directly. That was the new way Jesus opened for us by sacrificing his own life.
We can go into the Most Holy Place and have a close relationship with God again because we became righteous through Jesus’ one righteous act on the cross. Only through Jesus, can our relationship with God be restored. That’s why only Jesus is the way and the truth and the life through which we can come to the Father in heaven.
“Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body” (Heb 10:19-20)