“Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people for their sins.” Matthew 1:20-21
Reflect on the birth of Jesus and some things easily emerge. That while he most certainly had a normal birth, his conception was not normal. Virgins don’t normally become pregnant. It’s impossible, actually. To the skeptic who asserts “Virgins can’t give birth to babies!”, the Christian replies “we know, that’s kind of why it’s a big deal”.
But even as the amazing circumstances of his birth are being recorded, the end of his life is not far from view. Matthew records that at the giving of his name, from the angel to Joseph, the very purpose of his coming is revealed. Jesus means saviour. In greek and hebrew it reads the same as Joshua, recalling a figure who brought God’s people from where they were to where they needed to be. And in that name is embedded the purpose of his birth – to bring again God’s people out from where they are. Specifically, it is to save them from their sins.
Even prior to his birth, the purpose of that birth is revealed to his adoptive father. Salvation from sins through his death on the cross. The Gospel writers were never just rolling along without the entire story in sight. Even at before the cradle the cross was in sight.