“And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21
There is power in the name of Jesus! More power than many of us truly understand. Jesus was sent from God with one specific purpose: to save us from our sins. Jesus is the only one who can save us from our sins.
Sin is separation from God, disobeying the will of God, transgressing against God or disavowing the existence of God. Sin denies the work of God in creation and humanity. Sin is rooted in humanism: the belief that humans are the highest form of life and thus do not need any other higher being dictating or defining our existence.
Sin denies the power of the blood of Jesus, the crucifixion and the resurrection. Sin breaks the heart of God and is a deeply regrettable action grounded in revolt against God. Sin is not merely a mistake because it involves willful disobedience against God.
Sin is missing the mark, being morally deceived or falling short of the goal. Sin is lawlessness, iniquity or lawless deeds. C.S. Lewis once said, “Sin is a long terrible story of man [humans] trying to find something other than God to make him [them] happy.”
The rash of non-fatal shootings in our city is sin. The rising tide of murders in our city is sin. Our failure as a society to help the least, last and the lost is sin. Many of us only associate sin with fornication, adultery, homosexuality, lying, stealing, cheating and other immoral or illegal acts. And many of us feel we are OK if we do not commit any of the aforementioned sins.
Here are some other common forms of sin: withholding good when we have the power to do good, selfishness — not to be confused with self-care, but rather thinking more of ourselves than others — and harboring harmful or illicit thoughts against others.
Romans 3:23 states: “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” This is why we need Jesus! Jesus is the only one who can save us. As much as we want to, as hard as we try, as strong as we are, we cannot save ourselves. We need a savior, and that savior’s name is Jesus.
Matthew’s account of the Christ story opens with a detailed genealogy. After the detailed family tree, Matthew focuses on the conception and birth of Jesus. Mary is espoused to Joseph who did not “know” her. An angel appears to Joseph and gives him both illumination and instruction. He would have a son named Jesus, and Jesus would save humanity from our sins.
Jesus fights our battles. Like Joshua, David and Debra who fought for Israel and led Israel to victory, Jesus fights on our behalf and leads us to victory. Jesus is our protector. He is the one who protects us from dangers seen and unseen.
Jesus is our savior. As one commentator notes: “To the awakened and anxious sinner [Jesus is the] sweetest and most fragrant of all names, expressing so melodiously and briefly his whole saving office and work!”
Jesus is the only one who can save us. He saves us through his prophetic birth and ministry. And he saves us by his crucifixion, and most importantly, his resurrection.
Dr. Preston T. Adams III is senior pastor at Amazing Grace Christian Church in Indianapolis. Contact Pastor Adams via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @DrPrestonTAdams. For more information, visit agccindy.org.