Fellowship at Cross Creek
The Story of Sin…
By Joseph M. Cross
Part I: It Started with a Christmas Curiosity…
It started with a Christmas curiosity of mine concerning the interpretation of a very familiar biblical passage—one that many of us have heard read or referenced many times in our lives, especially at Christmas time. The passage contained a dream to a very troubled man—Joseph, the fiancé of Mary. In the dream, the angel tells Joseph not to divorce Mary because she is now pregnant. She has done nothing wrong. The child is God’s, conceived by the Holy Spirit. When he is born, the boy is to be named Jesus (Greek or Yeshua in Hebrew, which means Yah or Yahweh [I AM] Saves), because he will save the people from their sins (Matt. 1:21).
At first glance, the meaning of this very familiar passage seems so obvious. Jesus died for our sins…if we believe in him, our sins are forgiven and we have eternal life with him (John 3). And that’s what I assumed, or have always assumed. And I still believe that’s partly what this angelic message comes to mean. At the same time, I have now discovered that there are some incredibly, rich and meaningful layers to this understanding.
It all started when I decided to explore the biblical meaning of sin. I mean who doesn’t know what sin is. Every child who has spent some time in Sunday school can tell you what sin is. It’s when you do wrong. Bad things. When you disobey your parents or teachers. And yet I was still curious. If Jesus is supposed to save the people from these things called sins, then it might be important to go back and see just what the Scriptures meant by this thing that Jesus was supposed to save us from, as well as, the importance of his name in the first place.