He Came to Save

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One of the things my wife and I enjoy doing together is going to garage sales (call me an odd husband, but it’s true). There is something fun about walking through other people’s junk, seeing what they think it is worth and trying to get a good deal. Now, during this process, I always come across things in which I have no idea the item’s purpose. Even funnier is when I ask the seller and they don’t have a clue either.

Now during Christmas time, we usually sing silly songs about Santa, snow, cold weather, snowmen, reindeer, the Christmas tree, family, holly and ivy plants, coming home, bells, the twelve days before Christmas, ding dongs, three ships sailing, and that all I want for Christmas is you. And since new the dawn of cell phones, we sing about texting Merry 1aChristmas. In church, we sing/talk about Mary and Joseph, the angels, the Wiseman, the town of Bethlehem, the lack of room in Bethlehem, the silence of baby Jesus, the clear midnight sky, the first Christmas Noel, and that all of this brings joy to the world. However, as much as I love all the silly fun of the season, and as important as it is to talk about the people and events surrounding the birth of Jesus, we have to make sure to keep our focus on the purpose of why Jesus was born. To miss the reason behind His birth is to miss Christmas.

I think the best place to find out the purpose of Jesus’ birth is to survey the people who were there.

“An angel of the Lord appeared to [Joseph] in a dream, saying, ‘ … [Mary] will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.’”           (Matt 1:20-21)

“Mary said, ‘My soul exalts the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.”    (Luke 1:46-47)

“Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying, ‘Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people, and has raised up a horn of salvation for us … And you, child [John the Baptist], will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare His ways; to 2agive to His people the knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God …’” (Luke 1:68-78)

“In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.’” (Luke 2:8-11)

“[Simeon] took Him into his arms, and blessed God, and said, ‘Now Lord, You are releasing Your bond-servant to depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation.’” (Luke 2:28-30)

“At that very moment [the prophetess Anna] came up and began giving thanks to God, and continued to speak of [Jesus] to all those who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.” (Luke 2:38)

Did you see a theme? Do you hear similar words? It should be obvious. The purpose of Jesus’ birth was to save people from their sins![1] As noted above, this truth is exactly the reason stated by every person involved in the first Christmas. Jesus’ birth was to bring about salvation. And just to make sure you would not forget it, His name is Jesus. Jesus is a form of the Hebrew Joshua, which means “God will save.” In other words, Jesus would not only tell people about how to be saved from their sins (like every prophet before Him), but He would be the One in whom anyone can find salvation. He is the Savior from sins.

And it is for this reason that I love the carol “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” because the truth of Jesus’ coming to save is so clear in Charles Wesley’s hymn.christmas-cross

Hail! the heav’n born Prince of peace!
Hail! the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings,
Risen with healing in his wings
Mild he lays his glory by,
Born that man no more may die:
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.

Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!”

Do you know Him as your Savior? He came to save. Repent and believe and you too will know Him as your Savior this Christmas season.

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[1] This is not to deny that there was no other reason. Scripture affirms that Jesus came to present God (Matt 11:27), to teach truth (John 18:37), to fulfill the law (Matt 5:17-18), to offer His kingdom (Luke 4:43), and many more. Yet when Scripture speaks of Jesus’ coming, it speaks primarily to His purpose is to suffer and die to provide salvation for sinners (Matt 20:28; John 1:29; Phil 2:6-8; 1 Tim 1:15; Heb 2:9-18; 1 John 3:5)

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About Greg Peterson

Greg received his B.A. from Moody Bible Institute in Bible & Theology and his M. Div and Th. M. from The Master’s Seminary. Greg has served in various areas of the church, including youth, senior adults, events, and choir. Greg currently serves as the Youth Pastor at Fellowship Bible Church in Springdale, AR. Greg is married to Michelle and looks forward to one day being blessed with children.