“Thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins….And they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” (Matthew 1:21, 23)
These passages, taken from an angelic message delivered to Joseph in a dream instructing him to take Mary as his wife, reveal two important names of Christ. One describes His office and the other His nature. Both are of the utmost importance as fundamental Christian doctrines.
The name Jesus is the same as Joshua in the Old Testament and literally means “savior”; as noted, “he shall save his people from their sins.” Christ saves us from the guilt of sin by cleansing us in His own atoning blood, and He saves us from the dominion of sin by the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit. Ultimately when we leave this world, He will save us from the presence of sin as we go to be with Him, and we will also receive a new glorious body at His return. We can surely say, “Thy name is as ointment poured forth” (Song of Solomon 1:3).
The name Emmanuel, found once in the New Testament, means “God with us,” and its theological bookend is given in the final verse of Matthew’s gospel: “I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20). This idea of “God with us” also signifies Christ’s nature as the God-man, being “God…manifest in the flesh” (1 Timothy 3:16). Thus, our Savior is perfect God as well as perfect man.
Because our Savior “was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin, let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:15-16). JPT
Days of Praise Podcast is a podcast based on the Institute for Creation Research quarterly print devotional, Days of Praise. Start your day with devotional readings written by Dr. Henry Morris, Dr. Henry Morris III, Dr. John Morris, and others to strengthen and encourage you in your Christian faith.