I have a pop quiz for you. I call it a pass/fail quiz because there are only three questions. If you get all three correct, you get a 100%! If you miss only one question, you fail the quiz.
First of all, this is an open book test. Secondly, here is a hint: All forms of the word “shall” are absolute certainties.
But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. – Matthew 1:20-21
Matthew makes three absolute declarations in these verses.
- Mary SHALL have a son.
- Joseph SHALL call his name Jesus.
- Jesus SHALL save his people from their sins.
End of review. Now time for the quiz.
Q: Did Mary have a daughter or a son?
A: She had a son.
Q: Did Joseph name the son Harry, Marvin, or Jesus?
A. He named him Jesus.
Q: Did Jesus save his people from their sins or just make it possible if they would accept His offer?
A. Before you answer, consider the certainty of the first two “shalls” in the other questions.
The clearest answer, from context, is that Jesus DID save his people. He did not just try to save them or make a way possible for them to be saved if they would accept, make a decision, pray a prayer, or any other act of will or devotion.
Jesus did make an offering of salvation but it wasn’t to you or me. He offered Himself only one time, and that offering was to God.
But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? – Hebrews 9:11-14
Let us rejoice in the sovereign grace of God, and cry out WITH our Savior, “IT IS FINISHED!”