And you shall call His name 'Jesus' because He shall save His people from their sins.
Even His name is a promise: "The Lord saves." Christmas is the celebration of the keeping of a promise. The promise that God would someday erase the sin of the world in a single day (Zech.3:9). The promise that He would someday walk with us, that we might be His people and He our God (Lev. 26:12). The promise that the fall would be undone by the One who would crush the head of the serpent (Gen.3:15). A saving promise.
Faith, in the Old Testament, is defined by a person's willingness to wait for the promises of God to come. Faith, in the New Testament, means following the Promised One.
In that Promised One, God gave to us all He could give because a part of the "self" is given in the making of any real promise. Overwhelmed by His own desire to give, God sent the most treasured Gift to keep the promise He himself made. God chose to suffer the punishment which should have been inflicted on those who are guilty of breaking a promise. So for those who see Christianity merely as a relationship in which we can ask God for things, Christmas reminds us that He has already given His all, His own Son.
Christianity is founded on a promise. Faith involves waiting on a promise. Our hope is based on a promise. God promised He would be "with us", not as unseen ethereal force, but in the form of a person with a name: Jesus. He promised us salvation in the name 'Jesus', by the name 'Jesus', through the name 'Jesus'.
O Lord, how many are your promises? Are they not all "yes" in the name of the One who is the Promise? Father, let me spend my life pursuing that Promise. Teach me to hope in you, who always keep your Promise. Give my life to your Promise, so that I may shine like a single star in the darkness of this world with the light of your Promised One.
The writing is taken from the devotional book "The Promise"
© 1991 by Michael Card. All Rights Reserved