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
Sometimes a name is just a name. And sometimes a name perfectly suits the person. Ancient people would choose names carefully, so as to make a lifelong statement about a person’s identity. “Jesus” is a name so familiar these days that we could easily forget it was a name with extraordinary significance. The very name an angel announced should be given to Mary and Joseph’s unborn child. And what a name! “Jesus” means “the Lord saves.” He does indeed.
None of us can save ourselves anymore than a person sinking in a rowboat can save himself by pulling up on the side of the boat. We need a savior who has the power to do just that … save us from ourselves.
But there wouldn’t be saving if there hadn’t of been a sacrifice. And there wouldn’t have been a sacrifice if there wouldn’t have been a baby named Jesus. We don’t need to wait until Good Friday and Easter Sunday to celebrate the Savior. The saving started Christmas morning with the birth of Jesus.
There’s no way Mary and Joseph could have understood all this, of course. They were obedient and named the baby Jesus, but how and when the Lord would save them remained a mystery to everyone. But not for us, on this side of the resurrection, we know the extent of the saving love of God.
Merry Christmas everyone!