Joseph’s Dream: Dec. 5
Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “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 from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name Immanuel”
(which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus. Matthew 1:18-25
Immanuel, God with us.
The ultimate need of every human being is to be with our Creator. Yet because of sin, mankind was cast out of God’s presence in the garden of Eden, and had no right to be near God again. Broken relationships among people soon followed our broken relationship with God. And Joseph had every human reason to expect that Mary’s pregnancy was yet another disappointing and tragic result of the sin that pollutes our hearts and our world. He had no wish to amplify her shame, and yet the right course was clear. Their betrothal would be broken and they would not marry. He would not take this shame and the burden of this child on himself. But then a message from heaven interrupted Joseph’s plan.
There was no shame in this child.
God was bringing heaven to earth. God Himself, in the Person of His Son, was coming to His sin-ruined people and making a way for them to be in His presence again. God was not keeping them at a distance. He was coming among them. He was becoming one of them. And He had chosen Joseph to be the adoptive father of the Eternal Son.
He must call the baby Jesus, because He would indeed save His people from their sins. And like His earthly father before Him, Jesus would be willing to carry a burden that did not belong to Him. His burden would be the heaviest in the world. He would carry the shame and guilt of all of His people so that Eden could be reopened, so that God could be with us again.
Immanuel, God with us.
Thank you, Lord Jesus.