“She will give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus, (who is called the Christ) because He will save His people from their sins… and they will call Him Immanuel — which means, ‘God with us.’” Matthew 1:21, 16, 23 (NIV)
Before we take down the Christmas tree, pack up all the ornaments and store the manger scene away, take a moment to consider who this Christ Child really is. We can identify Him by His name. Matthew’s Gospel assigned three names to God’s Son.
- Jesus means “Savior”. It was the name that the angel instructed Joseph to give to the child Mary was going to deliver. Jesus is the Greek form of the Hebrew name, Joshua, and means “Jehovah is salvation”. There were many Jewish boys in that day with the name Joshua or in the Greek, Jesus.
- But Mary’s Son was “Jesus, who is called the Christ” in Matthew 1:16. The word Christ means “anointed” and is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word for Messiah. He is “Jesus, the Messiah.” Jesus is His human name and Christ is His official title.
- In Verse 23 the angel assigns another name to God’s Son when he explained to Joseph that all of this was in fulfillment of prophecy given by Isaiah the prophet over 700 years previous. “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a Son, and they will call Him Immanuel–which means, ‘God with us.’” Immanuel describes who He is – “God with us.”
The real story of Christmas is this, Jesus Christ is God with us! So many leave Him as a baby in a manger, only to pack Him away and bring Him out next year. The Christ of Christmas is God who became man so that men could know Him, relate to Him, and be made right with Him. He is none other than the Creator who took upon Himself our flesh and blood. Aren’t you glad He didn’t send a message? He was the message! “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”John 1:14 (NIV) Have you met this Jesus?
At Bethlehem, He became God with us. At Calvary, He became God for us. At Pentecost, He became God in us. When you know that God is with you, for you, and came to live in you, your life will never be the same!
I hope these 12 Days of Giving Challenge have encouraged you to share the joy of Christmas with others. For Day 12: Bake Christmas cookies for your neighbor. If you share your experience to encourage others to do the same, use the hashtag #WC12DaysofGiving. Invite them to attend one of the Christmas Eve services at a Woodlands Church in your area. Here are the locations and service times.