Suppose you were to nominate "the greatest sentence in the English language." What words would you pick? A passage from Shakespeare? A line from your favorite poem? Or would you suggest a sentence like one of these:
I love you!
If you thought more about it, you might choose the angel's words in Matthew 1:21:
...give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.
He will save - rescue, deliver. The word includes so much. Primarily it speaks of release, freedom in Jesus, we receive freedom from the guilt of sin and freedom from slavery to sin. We need no long live in shame over who we are or over what we've said or done. We can lay that burden down, trusting that Jesus carried it to His cross where it was destroyed forever.
We need no longer slave for sin either. By the power of the new life at work in us through our Baptism, we can show the love we now want to show our Lord and the people around us.
Where does sin have you loaded down with guilt or trapped in slavery today? Talk to Jesus about it as you meditate on Matthew 1:21.
Jane Fryer, "Today's Light Bible," page 1327