31 August 2023 Anno Domini, the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:9-11; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
Perhaps the most important possession we have is our name because it represents who we are in whole form – our character, our reputation, our family, our bodies, and even our souls. When I think of a friend’s name, it encompasses everything I know about my friend. Our name has great value to us: “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.” (Proverbs 22:1) Names of great men and women (in the human sense) are often remembered for centuries, and even millennia, after that person has passed from the registry of time – Caesar, Cicero, Plato, Copernicus, Newton, etc.
There is a name that transcends all time and majesty – the Lord Jesus Christ. Our names were given us by our parents, and the name of Jesus is no different in that respect. He was named by the Father in both prophecy and at birth. The Holy Angels appearing to the poor shepherds on the hillside overlooking Bethlehem proclaimed that Divine Title to the shepherds: “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10-11) Moreover, His Name was given to Joseph by the Angel Gabriel before the child was born: “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21) The Name ‘Jesus’ is the Greek form of the Hebrew name ‘Joshua’ meaning the salvation of God. No other such name called among men.
Not only does the Name of Jesus have particular meaning to His person, but to His Divine nature as well. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) This name is the most important to every man, woman and child ever born – but also to God the Father. How we view, and accept, the Lord Jesus Christ is the most important and eternal concern of life.
Peter declared of Him: “…Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.” (Acts 2:36) Adam committed spiritual murder of every creature born on earth when he disobeyed God at Eden. But our Lord Jesus Christ grants life to all whom He has chosen and called to be His elect people. How terrible is our sin nature that we should crucify the very One who came to give us life eternal in Paradise! He died on the cross being hung between Heaven and earth. He is the only liaison we have to the Gates of Splendor, and we murdered Him which thing must have come to pass in the Father’s plan of salvation for us to be saved. The life of man was a minus sign “ – ” but when the great ‘I Am’ is added to that minus sign, it becomes a “ + ” or a cross. Our Lord’s greatest guilt (He had none) was healing the sick and infirm, restoring sight to the blind, resurrecting the dead, and proclaiming truth – truth that the Scribes and Pharisees could neither deny or deal with owing to their greed for power and their disdain for One whom they knew to be greater and closer to God than themselves.
Just as Adam was the father of all flesh who die in their sins, Christ became the One by whom all who are called His own to live forever in resurrected glory. “…Fear not; I am the first and the last: 18I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” (Revelations 1:17-18)
This is the One “whom God raised.” We, too, may be raised with Him if we have taken up our crosses and followed Him all the way – in love, in caring for widows and orphans, in sharing the Gospel, in dying to elf, and, finally in rising from our borrowed tombs: “And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:6
There is no name, nor title, that can compare with that of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though hated and despised by the world and her rulers, the Day of Reckoning lies just beyond the near horizon when: “…at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:10-11)