“Thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins.” “They shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted, God with us.” - Mat 1:21; Mat 1:23
In our day we give names to our children which have no particular meaning. We generally name them after a special relative or some person for whom we have high regard, but still, as a general rule, children are not given names which have significant meanings. In the Word of God, however, often babies were given names which had very important meanings and this was especially true with regard to our glorious Savior. Note these two meaningful names of our Redeemer.
- “JESUS.” What was the significance of that name? The angel gave Joseph the meaning in Matthew 1:21, “For He shall save His people from their sins.” From this name we immediately know that Jesus, the Savior sent to save, had a people that belonged to Him. These were gifted to Him before the foundation of the world and the reason He came into this world was to save them from their sins. He wasn’t sent to put them in a savable position, or to make salvation a possibility for them if they added to the work He would perform. He was given a people by the Father to rescue, save and deliver from their sins. These people He saved by His successful, substitutionary death upon the cross which satisfied divine justice which demanded death for their sins. Calvary was not an attempt to save, but the accomplishment of the salvation of all those entrusted to the Son by the Father in covenant grace. These He saved by His bloody death, attested by His resurrection.
- “Emmanuel.” What was the significance of that name? The meaning is clear; Emmanuel is “God with us.” Who is this JESUS who came to save His people from their sins? The Holy Spirit is quick to give us the answer; He is “God with us!” Jesus, Emmanuel is, therefore, God come to save. Does that not impress upon us the severity of our sinful case? Such was our lost condition, there was but One who could meet our need; only One who could render to divine justice the required price for our salvation. The only Savior of needy sinners is Jesus, God with us! Why was the death of Jesus of such infinite value to put away the sins of His people? The answer is simple: He was (is and always shall be) God. That One born in the manger of Bethlehem is God our Savior who is with us. “JESUS,” He is the Savior. “Emmanuel,” He is God with us. “JESUS:” He shall save,”there lies the infinite mercy; “Emmanuel,” there lies His infinite majesty. “JESUS: He shall save,” what condescending grace; “Emmanuel…God with us,” there is the glory.