Before we take up the significance of Immanuel as a sign we shall do well to understand the predicative aspect of the Bible. The eternal nature of God is omnipresent and Omnipotent. His wisdom and Power have no need for prophecy but is vital for man. His instruction in righteousness is where the Spirit lay emphasis. Therefore the Spirit through human agencies inform man as Prophet Isaiah speaks of the coming of Immanuel to Ahaz, the King of Judah.
Naturally the divine Will and its fulfillment must occur in course of time.
“All things were made by him (the Word)..” St. John’s Gospel attributes divinity of the Word to Jesus Christ and as the Word was made flesh he is reckoned also as human, limited by time. His birth, death and brief duration of ministry are counted in earth time. However when the Spirit uses to reconcile the two aspects the Father and the Son it is in God’s Time.
Aspect of time is accordingly expressed as Stream of consciousness in which the history of nations people are set in earth time and carried across by God’s Time. For example the advent of God the Son in earth time can be placed from scant details supplied in the gospels. In St.Lukes gospel we read thus,’In those days there went a decree from Augustus Caesar….(Lk.2:1-4).;St Matthew also places the birth of Jesus against the kingship of Herod , another historical figure.
Measure of Time as the Spirit uses to inform is of the Spirit of Christ with particular emphases to the fulfillment of God’s purpose. In the fall of man God tells the serpent “It(her seed) shall bruise thy head..(Ge.3:16)” So the advent of the seed and death and resurrection are in flow to which holy men of old were aware as only the spirit in them would have led them to enquire;
“Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow(1 Pe.1:11)”Prophet Isaiah is one among them and when he predicted that the virgin shall conceive it was intended as a sign(Is.7:14).The Spirit adds more details than given at the garden. The woman is a virgin and the seed is a son. When Matthew writes the gospel he refers to Isaiah(Matt.1:22-23). St Matthew and the prophet are separated by some six centuries according to earth time. Whereas in the time frame under which the Spirit of Christ operates no such distinction is required. Why it must be so one might ask. In stream of Spirit’s consciousness divine Will and its fulfillment are treated as one. Similarly consider the Acts of the Apostles In the first chapter v.20: when St Peters addresses the 120 in the upper room in order to choose a replacement for Judas Iscariot he quotes the Psalmist “Let another take his office (bishoprick)” (Ps.109:8). King David was moved by the spirit to utter these lines without knowing the context or the purpose. He spoke under the inspiration of the spirit and Apostle Peter by selfsame spirit knew the precise purpose for which David had spoken it. Similarly Jesus on the cross quotes verses from Psalm 22. He was fulfillment though in body. From the above we see how the Spirit of God keeps people of God connected. It is thus when we accepted Jesus Christ the Spirit of Christ connected us to the Word. Spiritual quality of faith similarly connects us all the way to God, Consequently our actions in time and place are reconciled with Time. As illustrative of this spiritual truth consider the exhortation in the Bible. “Now is the day of salvation (2 Co.6:2).” Our conversion is set by the side of Paul’s conversion, for that matter of any man who confesses Jesus Christ his or her Savior.
In the next post we shall continue with our study.
(To be Coninued)