WHAT’S IN A NAME?
“God exalted him to the highest place and gave him
the name that is above every name.”
Jesus – The name Jesus (Yeshua) means
“Savior” or “Deliverer.” And it is certainly an appropriate name for the
One who came to redeem us from bondage to sin and death. Remember that
the angel who spoke to Joseph said: “You are to give him the name Jesus,
because he will save his people from their sins.”
Christ – I hope that it is not a surprise to anyone reading this little epistle to find out that Christ is not Jesus’ last name. Although the Scripture doesn’t say this, it could be assumed that Jesus’ last name would have been Bar-Joseph (Son of Joseph) . . . or, if one considers it theologically, Bar-Abba (Son of the Father). Christ is actually more of a title than a name. It is the equivalent of the Hebrew word for “Messiah,” which means “anointed.” Historically, prophets, priests, and kings were anointed and set apart for their service to God; and so it is appropriate that Jesus should be known by this title. He is the personal revelation of the Word and will of God, and therefore ministers to the church in the office of Prophet. He offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice to atone for the sins of the elect and continues to intercede for the elect before the Father; therefore He ministers to the church in the office of Priest. And Jesus has called a people to Himself over whom He rules, for whom He provides, and which He protects; He therefore ministers to the church in the office of King.
Son – We must never forget that Jesus Christ is the unique and eternal Son of God, second person of the Godhead. He emptied Himself of His glory for a time to become man, but at no time did he cease to be God. When we worship Jesus we are worshipping God. When we follow Jesus we are following God. When we honor Jesus we are honoring God. When we trust Jesus we are trusting God. He is the alpha and the omega. He is the maker and keeper of all things, and all that exists serves to glorify Him. “By him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (Col. 1:16-17).
All praise be to the Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God and Savior of men!
--- Pastor Keith Andrews