‘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.’ (Matthew 1:21)
What’s in a name? Sometimes, quite a lot. If you come across a man who’s known to his friends as “psycho” you know to take care. Jesus has an altogether different name. It means “he saves”.
But what does he save from?
As you read this I imagine you’re feeling reasonably relaxed. Perhaps you’re sitting on the sofa with a cup of tea in your hand, or perhaps in a coffee bar in town eating a slice of chocolate fudge cake. You probably don’t feel as though you’re in great danger. But although we may not realise it, the Bible says that we’re all in danger.
And that’s because of the way we treat God. We quite like the idea that he exists, perhaps. But if we’re honest, most of the time we ignore him. We get on with living our lives however we please. We don’t listen to him. And we value him little. It’s what the Bible calls sin. It brings us under God’s condemnation and it has eternal consequences. It will cause you and me to miss out on heaven. But the great news of Christmas is that Jesus has came to save us from the consequences of our sin. As a man, he willingly bore God’s anger at sin in our place so that we will never have to. Because of him, you and I can be forgiven. This baby, who was born on that first Christmas Day, can deal with our sin and get us into heaven after all!