I grew up constantly answering the question—What does this mean? My pastor forced me to think through that question whenever I memorized something from the Bible. But what does this mean? He didn’t let me get away with reciting truths that I had yet to truly understand.
Which is why I want to ask you the same question about Christmas. Two thousand years ago, an angel announced to a group of shepherds, “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you” (Luke 2:11). That sounds nice, but what does that mean? Could you define the name Savior in your own words? Would your definition seem like good news to a seven-year-old or someone clueless about Christianity?
Here is how I define it—A Savior is someone who rescues you from danger. A firefighter is a savior if he runs into a burning building and carries out an unconscious child. A doctor is a savior if her split-second decision delivers a person from certain death.
And Jesus is a Savior too. He rescues us from the danger of sin. Sin just once and you face the eternal danger of being separated from God’s presence (and all the joy, peace, happiness, safety, comfort, love, friendship, etc. that come with it). But since sin is humanly unerasable, we need someone to save us.
Thank God that Jesus did. Back in Bethlehem, a Savior was born. Not a teacher. Not a coach. But a Savior to rescue you from the danger of sin. That is what the angel’s beautiful words mean.