What's in a Name?

"She will give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins." (Matthew 1:21 IV)

What's in a name? Throughout scripture, the names of various people carry great meaning, and oft-times are perfect descriptions of the people who carry the names. When God made His covenant with Abram, He changed Abram's name ("Exalted Father") to Abraham ("Father of Many"). God changed Abram’s wife’s name, too. He changed Sarai's name to Sarah. Although both names mean "princess", the changing of her name signified her new position under the covenant as the mother of kings. Abigail's first husband was named Nabal, which means "fool". And Nabal was definitely a fool! (See 1 Samuel 25 for the story.) It's only in recent times that we've gotten away from the meanings of names and begun to give our children names with no meaning.

But the name Jesus, the name above all names. Jesus means "The Lord saves". In that one name is the embodiment of the greatest and most wonderful thing that ever happened to mankind. In that one name is the sum total of our salvation.

Jesus came to earth to die for you and me. He came to pay the entire price for all of our sins. Why? Because there is not one person, other than Jesus, who has ever been or who will ever be good enough to stand innocent before God. Not one person has ever been or will ever be without sin of any kind. Not one. No matter how good a person seems, no matter how much good that person does for those around him or her, no matter how sinless a person seems to you and me - not one has ever been or will ever be perfect, without blemish, without flaw.

God cannot look on sin. It is so repugnant to Him that He cannot stand to have it in His presence. For this reason, Jesus was sacrificed for you and me. And the blood that He shed on the cross washed away the sins of the entire world. Through His death on the cross, He made it possible for you and me to stand blameless before God. No matter what we've done. No matter how bad we've been. No matter what. You and I can praise the name of Jesus - The Lord Saves - for what He's done for you and me!

"All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away." Isaiah 64:6 (NIV)

"…all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God," Romans 3:23 (NIV)

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV)

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23 (NIV)

"Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men.” Romans 5:18 (NIV)

"I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” 1 John 5:13 (NIV)

"I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.” John 5:24 (NIV)

From Dogwood Ministries, Inc.
J-R-and-Bonnie@dogwoodministries.org

Used with Permission