The Gift of a Savior
“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
Read Matthew 1:18-24
The Christmas season brings with it some of our favorite timeless characters. We can’t wait to watch Rudolph become the hero of Christmas with just his bright red nose. Or see Frosty lead the children through a snowy adventure before he melts away. And then there’s A Charlie Brown Christmas where Charlie, Linus and the rest of the gang put on a Christmas pageant to share with everyone the true reason for the season – the best character of all – Jesus Christ.
Yes, Jesus is the reason for the season! But why? Why was Jesus’ birth so important that we celebrate it still today, so many years later?
These days we gather around newborns to gush over their cuddly cuteness (without touching or kissing, please), while the parents look on with wonder at who their child will grow up to be. Well Jesus’ parents didn’t have to wonder. In biblical times, names were considered to be the expression of the character and work of the child. So, when the angel of the Lord told Mary and Joseph that they were to name their baby Jesus – they already knew. This was no ordinary name. This name held the power of a promise. This name unlocked the secrets of things foretold. This name meant the Savior had come.
But what did he come to save us from?
They were expecting a King to save them from political ruins. But Jesus’ mission was much more personal than that. We celebrate the birth, the coming, of Jesus because through him we have salvation.
We were slaves to sin but Jesus set us free.
We were enemies of God but Jesus reconciled us as His children.
We were deserving of the wrath of God but instead we received His love.
We were dead in sin but because of Jesus we now have eternal life.
Jesus. He is more than just another Christmastime character. He is the star. The main man. The hero. The real deal. Because the best gift we could ever receive is found in the name of Jesus, “The Lord is Salvation.”
Family Activity: Look at your nativity scene (or pull a picture of one up online) and have each person share which character in the nativity they would be and why?