The significance of Christmas – Part 2
Perhaps not even Isaiah understood how far-reaching the meaning of “Immanuel” would be. God comes to us as people and lives in our world, rather than having us try the impossible of going to Him. God does not take us out of the turmoil and pain of daily life, but rather walks with us as we live life. It is a mistake to think of salvation as escape from the world instead of engaging with the world. God has a job for us to do right where we live and work. That’s where Jesus is with us; that’s where He gives us power (see Acts 1:8)
“JESUS,” (Isous) is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word Yeshua (Joshua), meaning “Yahweh saves” or “Yahweh is salvation.” This describes the future task of Mary’s Son and is the initial promise of the gospel. Jesus as Saviour “shall save his people from their sins.” Sin is the greatest enemy of the human race, destroying one’s soul and life. Through the atoning death of Jesus Christ and the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit, those who turn to Him will be set free from the guilt and slavery of sin (see John 8:31-36; Acts 26:18; Rom 6; 8:1-16).
Jesus means “the Lord saves.” Jesus came to earth to save us because we can’t save ourselves from sin and its consequences. No matter how good we are, we can’t eliminate the sinful nature present in all of us. Only Jesus can do that. Jesus didn’t come to help people save themselves; he came to be their Saviour from the power and penalty of sin. Thank Christ for His death on the cross for your sin, and then ask Him to take control of your life. Your new life begins at that moment.
See Joshua 1:1. The name Joshua means “the LORD saves” (or “the LORD is salvation”); The Greek form for this name is “Jesus.” Joshua is a type (or representative) of Jesus Christ in that he led God’s people into the Promised Land and to victory over their enemies (Heb 4:1, 6-8)
Why Did God Take On Humanity?
“But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” 22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” (Mat 1:20-23)
The angel declared to Joseph that Mary’s child was conceived by the Holy Spirit and would be a son. This reveals an important truth about Jesus—He is both God and human. The infinite, unlimited God took on the limitations of humanity so he could live and die for the salvation of all who would believe in him.
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)
The Son of God took on human nature but without sin. This is the basic statement of the incarnation. Christ left heaven and entered the condition of human life through the gateway of human birth and became the God man.
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