Do we desire a Savior who will come into our lives, cleanse us, forgive us, renew us, change us, make us holy, and give us, in the end, eternal life? That’s the kind of Savior Jesus is. Christ, the baby born to Mary, is God’s gift to us, and His work of salvation is the point of Christmas.
“What do you want for Christmas?” Asking that question of others is always a diverse experience. There’s the person who is ready with a long list of things. Then there’s the person who only wants one thing, or the person who is offended by the question, or the person who has no idea what they want.
Now consider what we would find if we asked people not, “What do you want for Christmas?” but, “What do you want for a Savior?” Perhaps we would uncover similar answers. We’d find the person who has a list of problems this savior would have to be able to solve. Then we’d discover the person with one major issue in their life they want the savior to solve. Maybe we’d find people who feel that God has let them down, and unless the Savior comes up big, it’s only going to make them more bitter. Undoubtedly, we would also identify people who feel like life is pretty good, and they’re not even sure they need a Savior.
The way we answer the question, “What do you want for a Savior?” reveals a great deal about the spiritual condition of our hearts. This answer highlights what is important to us and reveals what we believe our greatest needs to be. It discloses whether we are even aware of our need for salvation.
As we continue with our study of Christmas: What’s the Point? we turn to Matthew 1:18-25 to see that Jesus, the true Savior, came to save His people from their sins. There are three questions that must be answered as we use this passage to consider the salvation Jesus secured.
First, as we think about God’s provision of salvation in Jesus, what qualifies Jesus to be the Savior?
This critical question was important to the original readers of Matthew’s Gospel. Matthew wrote his account to a primarily Jewish audience, who were familiar with the Old Testament promises and prophecies about the Messiah. One of Matthew’s goals for this Gospel was to prove that Jesus is the promised Savior, starting this quest by establishing that Jesus was qualified to be the Savior. Matthew is intent on showing how it is that Jesus is qualified to be the Savior, the heir to the Davidic dynasty, even though He is not the biological son of Joseph.
Matthew first tells us, in no uncertain terms, that Jesus is qualified to be the Savior because He was born of a virgin. Notice in our passage that Matthew adds that Mary was with child by the Holy Spirit, indicating this was not unfaithfulness to her soon-to-be husband, but a miracle God performed by His Spirit in her. Mary’s Son was not a mere human but the product of the Holy Spirit causing her to conceive apart from any relationship with a man. The clear testimony of Scripture is that Jesus was born of a virgin.
What’s more, the virgin birth is one thing that qualified Jesus to be the Savior. We need a Savior who is free from the stain of sin, who is not under the curse incurred by Adam, and who can represent us before God. Any child born naturally would have the imputed sin of Adam and already be disqualified from being the Savior. A natural birth simply could not provide a righteous Savior who was undefiled and separate from sinners! In addition, our Savior also must be a mediator.