Who Is The Lord That I Might Believe On Him?
I recently saw a poster titled, "And He Shall Be Called." It had over 50 names for the persons of the Godhead, the Trinity. I bought the poster and have been thrilled at where the study leads.This column will share just a small bit of information about the names, as space permits. God revealed Himself as Father to the nation of Israel, (Deut. 32:6). He created Israel to be His special people in order to manifest His Providence. The Bible has many instances where God revealed Himself as Father, at times to kings and prophets, and even to shepherds. But in reading the Old and New Testaments, it is evident that having that personal relationship with God, of intimacy, was brought to us when the Father gave His only Son for our redemption. Jesus came to make the Father known to us, individually. Jesus came to show us the Father's Glory, and to enable us to enter into the Covenant of Grace, which the Father has made possible through His Son.
We have the record in Scripture, of centuries, when God revealed Himself to His people. He created a nation for His people to know Him intimately, as a Father to that nation. Yet, they really didn't "get it."
The term "Father" as we understand it in New Testament times has been revealed by the Son, who came to demonstrate the depth of His Father's love. While not using the intimate term "Father" as often in the Old Testament, our Creator God was revealed to Israel, and demonstrated compassion, grace, loving kindness, and patience, as a loving father. If we ordinary folk knew the languages of Scripture, we could obviously research the Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic names for God, many of which seem to be more "titles" than names. In those rich languages, we would discover much about His nature and His personhood. Even we, who have not studied those languages, are comfortable from our devotional reading with names such as Yahweh, Elohim, Emmanuel, etc, and understand that there is a reference to character within these names.
Paul writes that Jesus is "the Image of the invisible God," (Col 1:15) Because Glory belongs to God alone, Jesus came first of all, to reveal, display, His Father's Glory in all its majesty. Through his earthly ministry, death, resurrection, Jesus honored the King of Glory, His Father, in sovereignty, honor, praise, sacrifice, forgiveness, and redemption. To miss the Fatherhood of God is a personal tragedy that deprives a sinner of victory. When He created each one of us, He breathed his own breath of life into us individually, and loves us enough to give His only Son to redeem us for eternity.Though he was known as the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, the Old Testament closes with a note of sadness, a longing for something more.....an open confession of our sinfulness and need of a savior. Acknowledging that.God's people had not kept His way, Malachi mourns for his people; "Have we not all one Father? Hath not one God created us? Why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the Covenant of our fathers." (Mal.2:10)
Jesus came as our Advocate, in order to bring us into a right relationship with the Father who loves us. For centuries, men had been offering animal sacrifices to seek justification. Now, we had an Advocate with the Father, Jesus the Son, who was willing to be the propitiation for our sins through His atoning sacrifice on the Cross of Calvary. John writes these assuring and comforting words about our Advocate. "My little children, these things that I write unto you, that you sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father." (I John 2:1).
Another name, similar to Advocate, is Mediator. To understand the importance of this name is to understand Jesus being both God and Man, with the dual nature of both divine and human. Only Jesus Christ is able to represent both sides, God and man. The writer of Hebrews states, "But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by which he also is the Mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises." And the writer additionally states, "And to Jesus, the mediator of the New Covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel." (12:24.) God had taken the children of Israel "by the hand" to lead them out of Egypt and established a Covenant with them, which they chose not to keep.
Jesus is revealed as the Lamb of God, and the glory of His sacrifice knows no end. In the closing chapters of Revelation, we read that in the New Jerusalem, "the city had no need for the sun, neither for the moon, to shine in it; for the Glory of God did lighten it and the Lamb is the Light thereof. And the nations that are saved shall walk in the Light of it." (Rev. 21:23-24). John wrote about that unforgettable scene of John the Baptist. crying in the wilderness, "make straight the way of the Lord." While John was baptizing beyond Jordan, he saw Jesus approach, and declared, "Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world." (John.1:29)
At Christmas, our most frequent name for referencing Jesus is Savior--Savior of the World. In John chapter four, we read of the Samaritans accepting Jesus as Savior. (John 4: 41-42) God had always been proclaimed as the "Hope of Israel," the "Hope of their fathers," "the God of Salvation," the Savior of all men," Savior of the body," The Psalms are filled with hope of a Savior. Despite all of this reference to God as the Savior, the people who proclaimed hope turned away. Whether it was a golden calf or some other idol, they discarded their memory of God's deliverance and promises, and turned away from the God of Salvation.
Others claimed to be Messiah, according to the historian, Flavius Josephus. King David was called "the Lord's anointed." Jesus claimed to the Churches, "I am the root and offspring of David, and the Bright and Morning Star." (Rev. 22:16) Paul writes to the Ephesians that Christ is the Head of the Church (universal), He is indeed the Savior of the Body (the Church). ( Eph.5:23) Paul speaks to the healing and wholeness that faith in Christ brings to the believer. (Acts 3:6,16)
Christ is called the Corner Stone."The stone which the builders rejected has become the head stone of the corner." (Ps. 118:22) When Daniel interpreted Nebuchadnezzar's dream, the stone was a picture of God's Kingdom. Stones have powerful meaning in Scripture. You may remember that Joshua called the 12 tribes together, just after crossing the Jordan into the Promised Land. He had each tribe gather a large stone and they built an altar before they proceeded. It was to instruct the fathers to remember the Providence of God in their deliverance, and be instructed to teach the children diligently. Chapter 4 tells this glorious commission to families about the religious training of children. God intended "these stones to be a memorial unto the children of Israel forever." Only God, through His Covenant relationship, can deliver anyone out of bondage.
Christ as Cornerstone is a call to families to make their lives "living stones" through reconciliation with the only One who makes it possible. (Eph. 2:16)
After Jesus fed the multitudes and they had witnessed Him performing miracles, He said, "I am the Bread of Life, he who comes to me will not hunger, and he who believes in me will never thirst." (John 6:25)
He makes it clear to them, that the source of life, with all of its human needs, lies in a Relationship with Him. In our churches, we take Communion, bread and juice, remembering that only He is the Bread of Life.
He is also the Door, by Him, "if any man enters, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture." (John 10:9) He Is the Good Shepherd, the True Vine, the Light of the World, the Way, The Truth, and the Life. When Martha said to Jesus, "had you been here, my brother would not have died." Jesus responded, "I am the Resurrection and the Life, he that believeth in me,though he were dead, yet shall he live." (John 11:25)
He is King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. He is the only Begotten Son, the Second Person of the Trinity. He is the Bright and Morning Star. He is the Image of the Invisible God, He is our Redeemer and Lord, He is the Author and Finisher of our Faith. He is our wonderful Counselor. He is the Christ of Christmas, and His arms are open for you. He had given His Word as a Lamp unto our feet and a Light unto our path.The greatest Christmas gift that we could receive would be quality time to contemplate His Love for us, whom He created in His image, and who loves for us to reflect His character in our lives,
How deep the Father’s love for us
How vast beyond all measure,
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure.
How great the pain of searing loss -
The Father turns His face away,
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory.
Behold the man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders;
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers.
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished;
His dying breath has brought me life -
I know that it is finished.
I will not boast in anything,
No gifts, no power, no wisdom;
But I will boast in Jesus Christ,
His death and resurrection.
Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer;
But this I know with all my heart -
His wounds have paid my ransom.
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