Written by Alan Brads
Christmas is just around the corner and as Christians, we start thinking about the true meaning of Christmas. We know that Christmas is about the birth of our savior, but what was his birth about? Luke 2 is often referenced for its joyful historical account of the Christmas story, but Matthew 1 provides us with important context for his birth.
The chapter opens with a genealogy tracing the line of Abraham to Joseph, the father of Jesus. This is truly important for anyone who has studied the Old Testament. God promises in Genesis 3:15 that there is a seed coming from Adam that will conquer death and crush Satan. This covenant is passed down through Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Judah, and David. Genealogies through the Old Testament trace the promise of this blood and make us wonder if certain patriarchs are the promised seed, but without exception they all fail. This genealogy is the bridge between testaments and poses the question, “Is this child the promised seed?”
This question is immediately answered in the rest of this chapter. An Angel comes to Joseph in a dream and tells him, “you shall call his name Jesus. For he will save his people from their sins.”(v23) Furthermore, we see a prophecy of Isaiah being fulfilled. “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son and they shall call is name Immanuel.” (v23, Isaiah 7:14) Immanuel of course means “God [is] with us” so we have already learned two incredible facts about Jesus. First, he is the promise seed. He is the Messiah that God has sent to save his people. Second, Jesus is God. These two facts make up the foundation for our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sin. If Jesus was not both of these things, he would have no power to cleanse us, but praise God for his faithfulness to fulfill every promise he made by sending Jesus to Earth.
This Christmas, like every other Christmas, will be full of distractions, food, presents, lights, and much more. Jesus should have been worshipped as Messiah and King from the moment of his birth, but instead was slain by man and became the object of God’s wrath, ransoming himself so that we may be saved. This Christmas, take time to reflect on God’s faithfulness and Christ’s willingness that made a way for our salvation.