“Now she shall be bringing forth a Son, and you shall be calling His name Jesus, for He shall be saving His people from their sins” Matthew 1:21.
This promise is a most important declaration of God’s intention. It forms a solid basis for all that is recorded throughout the book of Matthew. Indeed it must never be forgotten in the midst of stern warnings and fearful events, least of all in the account of the evil and darkness surrounding the rejection and crucifixion of this One Who came to save. The promise remains alive and true even though it is left unrealized at the close of Matthew’s account.
In fact, by the end of Matthew, even though unrealized, the great work of saving sinners from their sins had been’made certain of eventual realization by the death and resurrection of Christ. This was the Lord’s own testimony at the passover meal, when He spoke of His blood “shed for many for the pardon of sins” (26:27,28; see also Matt.20:28). In addition, the truth was stated unintentionally at the very time in which it was being established. While Jesus was being crucified the religious leaders of Israel scoffed at Him, saying, “Others he saves! Himself he cannot save!” (Matt.27:42). The first statement is absolutely true, and it is true because He did not save Himself. Thus the opening clause of their mocking is transformed in grandest irony into the greatest testimony to truth that they had ever spoken!
Behind every struggle and every sermon of warning and instruction recorded in Matthew’s account lies the promise of salvation from sins. Behind every failure of Israel, the stubborn resistance to the testimony of the Lord and the scheming and the cries for cruclfixion’the promise still stands. “He shall be saving His people from their sins.”
From “Salvation and Judgment in the Book of Matthew” by Dean Hough