". . . you are to give him the name Jesus,
because he will save his people from their sins" (Mt. 1:21 NIV).
Two and a half weeks before Christmas, I received a call from a committee member at my church. He wanted to know if I’d be willing to write a devotional for the Easter season. "Now?” I thought. “Christmas isn't even over! How can I possibly think about Easter now?" I told him I'd think about it.
While I was drifting off to sleep that night, a familiar Christmas Scripture came to mind, “you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
Christmas can be a wonderful time of joyful celebration.
I make an effort to remember the reason for the season at
Christmas time. But this Christmas, that verse kept repeating in my mind, “you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” As I pondered anew this verse, the thought crystallized,
Easter is the reason for the season!
There is joy in celebrating Jesus' birth, yet when we consider that the sole purpose—or more accurately, the
soul purpose—of his birth was to die for you and me, then today’s verse is
actually a promise: “He, Jesus, will save his people from their sins.”
The Scripture tells us that Jesus went to the cross for the joy that was set before him. He wanted to do this. He wasn't forced! Jesus found pleasure in giving his life for ours!
His birth was for his death. His death was for our birth.
This is a miraculous and mystical exchange. Jesus is the first to be eternally
resurrected. Through him, we have peace with God, and the hope of eternal life.
"Praise our God, O peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard; he has preserved lives . . .” (Psalm 66:8).
“Dear Father, Thank you for sending your son to be born so that he would die to forgive our sins. Thank you for giving us eternal
life with you. Amen.”