". . . you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins" (Mt. 1:21).
Two and a half weeks before Christmas, I received a call from a committee member at my church. He wanted to know if I'd be willing to write a devotional for the Easter season. "Now?" I thought. "Christmas isn't even over! How can I possibly think about Easter now?" I told him I'd get back to him with an answer.
While I was drifting off to sleep that night, a familiar Christmas Scripture came to mind, "You are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."
Christmas can be a wonderful time of joyful celebration. I make an effort to remember the reason for the season at Christmas time. But this Christmas, that verse kept repeating in my mind, "You are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." As I pondered anew this verse, the thought crystallized, Easter is the reason for the season!
There is joy in celebrating Jesus' birth, yet when we consider the sole purpose—or more accurately, the soul purpose—of his birth was to die for you and me, then today's verse is not only a prediction, it is a promise: Jesus will save his people from their sins.
The Scripture tells us that Jesus went to the cross for the joy that was set before him. He wanted to do this. He wasn't forced! Jesus found pleasure in giving his life in exchange for our lives!
His birth was for his death. His death was for our birth.
This is a miraculous and mystical exchange. Jesus is the first to be eternally resurrected. Through him, we have peace with God, and the hope of eternal life.
"Praise our God, O peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard; he has preserved lives . . ." (Psalm 66:8).
Dear Father, Thank you for sending your son to forgive our sins. Thank you for giving us eternal life. Help us this Easter season and always to devote our lives to you. Amen.
For your meditation, read 1 Corinthians 15:20-22.
Copyright 2013 - S.A. Keith
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