As we journey through the Advent season, let us reflect on why Jesus came down from heaven to live and move among us. Matthew 1:21 says, “She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Yeshua, because he will save his people from their sins.” Yeshua is Hebrew for “the Lord shall save,” and can be interpreted to refer to the atoning work of Jesus at the cross. He came here to save us! Iesous is the Greek transliteration of the Hebrew name Yeshua, and its English spelling is “Jesus,” the name we find in our English Bibles. As his name reflects, the birth of Jesus is part of God’s plan to save us from our sins, so that we may have eternal life with Him.
God gave Jesus his name and, by doing so, announced to the world that He had provided a Savior for us, a way out of the predicament that we all find ourselves in. Romans 6:23 tells us, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
God gave us the greatest gift of all on Christmas morning, in the humblest of surroundings: a manger. He sent His Son Jesus into the world to save us from the consequences of our sin, and Jesus willingly went. What kind of love drives that? What kind of love leaves the glories of heaven to be born in a stable and to walk upon a broken world and call it his home? Only an incomprehensible, unconditional, passionate love could do that. That was the love that was born on Christmas day!
Reflection: Think of all of the gifts you have received in the past. Many of them came to you in beautifully wrapped packages, or with some type of fanfare. Now imagine being handed a brown cardboard box. Don’t let its plain appearance fool you. You can’t tell a gift by its wrapping. Open it slowly and peer inside. See in your mind’s eye a baby, born in a lowly manger, God’s gift of eternal life to you, in Christ Jesus, accessible to everyone. The packaging isn’t auspicious, but the contents are precious beyond measure!