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Matthew 1:21

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Matthew 1:21, ‘You shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.’

Already in the naming of our Lord, His divine identity is on display in at least two ways.

First, who is able to save humanity from their sin except God Himself? Is not all sin ultimately an offense against God (Ps.51:4), such that—in the final analysis—only God can truly save from / forgive sin? Certainly this was the acknowledged teaching of Jesus’ own day (Lk.5:21). Who can save a people—indeed, *His* people—from sin but God alone?

Secondly, the angel says He is to be named ‘Jesus’ for HE will save His people from their sins. Now, in Hebrew ‘Jesus’ would mean ‘YHWH Saves’….And so, the angel is basically saying: “Name Him ‘YHWH Saves’ for HE will save His people…” He is named YHWH saves because HE will save…thus, even in this moment of His naming, Jesus is equated with the God of Israel, YHWH Himself.

So, in being the one who saves His people from their sins, Jesus is shown to be no less than YHWH Himself manifest in the flesh. But then we must ask—*How* does He save His people? *How* does He fulfill His name and thus prove Himself to be YHWH incarnate? The answer comes in ch.26:26-28 where we read that Jesus gives His Body as bread and His Blood as wine ‘for the forgiveness of sins.’ It is precisely as His body is offered up and broken on the cross, and as His blood is poured out into the earth as an offering for sin that our Lord is truly ‘Jesus,’ truly YHWH Saves, truly revealed as God Himself in the flesh.

Thus, in the updated image, I’ve emphasized the broken body and out-poured blood by which the Lord is revealed as ‘Jesus’ and so as YHWH Himself, saving His people from their sins.