she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” [matthew 1:21]


when joseph was told mary was going to give birth to a son, (he would be called Jesus, and he would save his people from their sins,) it obviously was a pretty crazy experience. it’s not every day an angel shows up in your living room (i’m just assuming this took place in his living room) and tells you anything, let alone your fiancé’s miraculously conceived child is going to save the world. but the reality is, this announcement was not made to joseph in a vacuum. joseph was receiving this announcement based on thousands of years of promises given to his people. while there still would have been room for skepticism and uncertainty, there was a lot of anticipation joseph would have been seeing come to completion in this moment.

this is a level of anticipation that we can come to understand even centuries later. as you reflect on the birth of Jesus during this season, take time to sit in the presence of the Lord and be reminded this was not a random event. this was something promised for hundreds of years – God saving his people from their sins. the greatest promise ever made.

here are some verses from the old testament that show the reality of God’s promise extended through the ages, all coming to a head in the birth of the God-man, Jesus. generations of anticipation realized in one child.


speak tenderly to jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the LORDs hand double for all her sins. [isaiah 40:2] 

all we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. [isaiah 53:6]

“on that day there shall be a fountain opened for the house of david and the inhabitants of jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and uncleanness. [zechariah 13:1]


[jeremiah 31:31-34]


[ezekiel 36:25-27]


~ keith kozlowski