One of the major themes of Advent is preparing ourselves for Jesus’ return. It’s a season of great hope, but for many people the whole idea has been a cause for anxiety. How can we look forward to Jesus returning with any confidence, given that he will judge the world when he comes?

Left to ourselves, the situation is indeed hopeless. The Bible makes clear in many places that if the Lord kept a record of our sins, no one would be able to stand before him (see e.g. Ps 130:3).

The Gospel reading for this Sunday shows us that we can look forward to Jesus’ return with confidence because of who he is. He is given the name Jesus because ‘he will save his people from their sins’ Matt 1:21. He has come to be Immanuel – God with us, alongside us, for us.

If anxiety about your sin steals your joyful hope in Jesus’ second coming, let his first coming encourage you. He came to save you from your sin and to be God alongside you.

Ed

What’s in a name?

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