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.” 22All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23“The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”—which means, “God with us.”
-Matthew 1:21-23 NIV
I know, it’s Lent, not Advent. But this is where we are in The Story sermon series. We concluded the Old Testament and we’re at the birth of Jesus. Regarding the verses above, I want to make sure you notice two very important teachings. First: An angel speaks to Joseph in a dream and tells Him to name Mary’s baby “Jesus”. The name “Jesus” means “God saves” and the angel tells Joseph that the kid should be named “Jesus” because He will save His people from their sins.” According to this messenger sent directly from God, Jesus was born so that He could save us from our sins. He didn’t come primarily to be a great teacher or a good role model, or a wish granter. Jesus came to save sinners from their sins. Second: Jesus’ birth fulfilled a major prophecy from Isaiah 7:14. It foretold that a virgin would have a child and he would be called “Immanuel”. His name is “Jesus”, but He’s also called “Immanuel”. As the prophet Isaiah tells us, Immanuel is Hebrew for “God with us” “IM” is Hebrew for “with”. IMANU” indicates the first person plural “us”, and “EL” is short for “ELOHIM” which is the Hebrew word for God. Immanuel literally means “God with us”. And that’s who Jesus is. God in the flesh. Not just some great teacher, or prophet, or miracle worker. Jesus IS God. The second person of the Trinity, and the one who takes away the sin of the world. Your sin, and mine. That’s great news whether it’s Advent or Lent.