Matthew 1:21 - “She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
From the very beginning of Jesus coming to earth, the angels (or at least this one) knew what God was unfolding.
This is why the angel said to the shepherds:
Luke 2:10 - “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
Being saved from sin!!!
If we don’t somehow end up having “great joy” over what Jesus has done, we probably don’t really understand what he’s done.
We may understand the proposal and the language but proposals and language don’t often produce great joy. Nobody sits with a legal contract exulting in its beauty.
When Jesus is merely proposition, there’s a sterileness to how we handle him. Consider the moment before Jesus went to the Cross and was interrogated by the Roman official Pontius Pilate:
John 18:37-38 - Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”
After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, “I find no guilt in him.”
But when we see him as he is, Jesus benchmarks the reaction:
Matthew 13:44 - “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”
Joy. It’s always joy when humans truly find God. The angel tells us it’s joy. Jesus tells us it’s joy. And true Christians through the ages tell us their experience is joy.
But this joy is hidden. We need eyes to see.
May we be given those eyes. May we move past the clinical Jesus and see him as really is - the one who saves his people from their sins - both the consequences and the power of sin over us.
Help us experience great joy when we think about Jesus saving us from our sins - as we ought to, God!