The angel Gabriel visited Joseph in a dream, announcing to him that the woman to whom he was engaged would give birth to a very special son.
Joseph had discovered Mary’s pregnancy and was very troubled by it.
They were not yet married. He thought she was a virgin. How could these things be?
But the angel’s visit put his fears at ease, and helped Joseph to see that much was going on here than he had assumed.
The baby that Mary would give birth to was not some child conceived out of wedlock or a secret scandal for Joseph to deal with.
The child would be the Messiah, God’s Son, and Mary had been chosen by God to deliver this baby that would one day deliver the world from their sins.
In fact, the very name for this baby that the angel gave to Joseph indicated this very thing. Notice his words in Matthew `1:21.
“She will give birth to a Son; and you shall name Him Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
In the Hebrew language (the language that Joseph would have spoken), the name “Jesus” is the word “Yeshua.” In the original language, this name is synonymous with the phrase “God delivers.” It was a significant name that was used to refer to the saving and rescuing power of God and, on this occasion, it was used to indicate what God planned to do through the life of this child.
Jesus, God’s son, would be born as a human being, live a perfectly sinless life, die on a cross, and then rise from the dead again – all so that He could fulfill the very meaning of His name.
To deliver. To rescue. To bring freedom from sin to those would be His people.
And who are “His people”? Who are the people to whom Jesus would bring rescue and deliverance?
John tells us in his gospel that they are the people who believe and put their faith in Jesus. Notice his words in John 1:12.
“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.”
God’s people – the ones to whom He promises deliverance and rescue and freedom from sin through Jesus – are the ones who believe in His Son, who put their trust and faith in Him, and who come to belong to Him.
We who believe in Jesus and belong to Him have received that eternal and everlasting rescue from our sin. We are no longer imprisoned to the curse, the bondage, or the consequences of sin.
We have been set free!
That’s such good news. And the apostle Paul elaborate on that when he says this in Romans 6:11 –
“So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.”
Not only have we been delivered FROM something; we have also been set free TO something.
We have been given the freedom to walk in righteousness. We have been delivered to pursue godly living. We have been freed to new life in Christ.
We are DEAD to sin and ALIVE to God now, all because of Yeshua, the Christ, the Messiah, who came to save His people from their sins.
What kind of difference should this make in us today? In what ways does God want to further deliver us from the residue of sin in our hearts?
The sinful nature within us has been crucified but, as Charles Spurgeon once said, “it is a slow death.” We have been delivered and have freedom to live the way God wants us to live. But we need His help.
Let’s ask Him for more of it as we pursue Him today.