that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.(NKJV)
We are Christians…
“Christ”ians – like Christ; loyal to Christ.
We’re not “Churchians”, or “Bible Versionians”, or “Doctrinians”. Church is important; so are the issues of Bible translations and most certainly doctrine is critical. It is not my intention to treat those things as unimportant. My point is that Jesus Christ should be the central consuming theme and thought for the “Christ-ian” and far too often it is something else: belonging to a certain church, following a certain personality, reading a certain Bible version, holding to certain “pet” doctrines.
To the degree that “something” diverts attention and focus from the study, adoration and deepening relationship with Jesus Christ, that “thing” needs to be re-evaluated and re-prioritized. So far we’ve learned that the Name of Jesus Christ is:
The Rarest and Most Exclusive – there is salvation through Jesus and NO other (Acts 4.12); every person will admit this fact some day, the only question is when (Phil 2.10)
The Most Understanding & Compassionate – Jesus is the caring Shepherd and He protects and cares for His sheep (Isa 40.11); Jesus is uniquely qualified to understand and respond to our deepest needs and hurts because He is both absolutely Divine, and absolutely human (Heb 4.15-16)
The Most Meaninful and Purposeful – the name of Jesus is filled with infinite meaning and purpose; why He lived; why He died; why He teached; why He loves us; what He accomplished… it is an inexhaustible well of study and discovery.
- The Most Rewarding – trusting in the name of Jesus results in the greatest rewards available to humankind. We get to live eternally in His presence (Phil 1.23; Rev 22.5); we receive an incorruptible crown of glory (1Pet5.4); we become a member of God’s family and co-heir with Christ (Rom 8.17); we get a home built just for us (John 14.1-4;2Cor 5.1); and we get to live in the “fullness of joy” for all eternity (Psalms 16.11)…. just to name a few “rewards”.
- The Most Powerful – the name of Jesus is the power of salvation, sufficient to save every person who believes (John 3.15). Jesus has the power to deliver us from the evil power of this world (Gal 1.3-4) and free us from the fear of Satan and death (Heb 2.14-15; Rev 1.18). The name of Jesus is the promise of resurrection for all those that belong to Him (Rom 6.5).
The Most Selfless Name I Know
The crucifixion alone qualifies Jesus as the most sacrificial and selfless human to have ever walked the earth. Oh, there have been people who have suffered for longer periods of time than Jesus, and there have been people who have given up their lives for others; but none of them had to comtemplate and know FROM ETERNITY PAST exactly what would happen to them… and still choose to do it anyway.
Jesus is God. Jesus is Eternal. Jesus ALWAYS, for all eternity, knew He would suffer and die for a world of people that would mostly reject His sacrifice. Think about that…
Millions and millions of years ago, Jesus knew
that He would create man; man would reject Him;
and He would be tortured and put to death knowing
the majority of men He died for would still reject Him.
Does that not BOGGLE your mind? If not, what possibly could!? In light of “only” that, Jesus reigns supreme as the most selfless man to ever live. But there’s more (much more than we could possibly cover):
- Jesus sacrificed Himself to endure our punishment – All men rightly deserve the wrath of a holy God whose perfectness has been violated. We rightly deserve it because our sinfulness is willing and free. We choose to sin. We want to sin. We love to sin. God is holy and just to require that all sin be punished; and the only proper punishment is death (Rom 6.23).
Galatians 3:13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), (NKJV)
Jesus Christ selflessly became a “curse” for us, taking our place of punishment. He absorbed the wrath of God that was due you, and me. Have you ever stopped and REALLY contemplated what you will NOT experience (eternal death, punishment, separation) because Jesus suffered it for you?
Sometimes we tend to generalize what Jesus did: “Christ died for the sins of the world”. True, but that sort of distances what He did from us individually. Jesus suffered and died for YOU as sure as if you were the only person who ever lived.
He died for YOU. He suffered for YOU. For YOU!
If you would have been the only person in the world,
He still would have done it – for you!
Chew on that for a while….
- Jesus gave Himself to ransom us – Even though the majority of those He died for will reject Him (and Jesus knew that ahead of time), Jesus still offered Himself as a ransom to purchase eternal life for those who believe in Him.
Mark 10:45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (NKJV)
Jesus is the most selfless name under heaven. He was God, but even so He did not come to earth to be served by men who were/are infinitely surbordinate to Him. He came to serve US! Imagine that. He willingly gave His life as a ransom “for many”.
What is a ransom? It is something paid or demanded for the release of someone or something from captivity; to free from captivity or punishment by paying a price. We were captive to death, sin and eternal condemnation. Jesus ransomed us, while we were still sinners, undeserving and unworthy of such a ransom. Wow.
- Jesus sacrificed Himself to save us from holy judgment – Have you ever considered that God would have been perfectly just in simply allowing us to face judgment and be delivered to eternal punishment? We choose to sin. We willingly violate God’s law. He is not forcing us to sin. God could not be held liable in any way if He would have chosen NOT to sacrifice His Son to pay our penalty.
Jesus selflessly gave Himself to save us from the judgment we rightly deserve. He wasn’t sitting around one day and decided “well that’s just not fair. People shouldn’t have to die eternally just because of a few sins. I better get down there and take one for the team”. Everything about God’s judgment of sin is PERFECT and HOLY. Jesus/God would have been absolutely just and right to allow us to suffer judgment.
Hebrews 9:28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation. (NKJ)
Jesus is coming a “second time” to get those who “eagerly wait for Him”. Jesus is coming back to get those whom He saved from judgment. Incredible…
Jesus knew from eternity past we would sin and reject Him;
but He created us anyway.
He was punished for our sins; paid our debt.
Then He’s coming back to get us so
He can reward us for all eternity for what HE did.
Read that again. Mind boggling. Have you ever considered the reality of what we deserve versus what we get, all because of Jesus Christ? It is simply humbling, magnificent, overwhelming and consuming. If the name of Jesus is not the sweetest you know, then you have not adequately considered what He has done for you.
Holy God, Help us to see the depths of Christ’s sacrifice and love. Thank You for giving Your only Son to rescue us from what we most certainly deserve. Help us to honor Jesus by meditating on His sacrifice and telling others about it. In the Sweetest Name, Amen.
Contemplation: Have you ever stopped and really considered what Christ did for you? Have you thought about what He has saved you from and what you would suffer had He not willingly gave Himself for you? Does is not melt your heart and boggle your mind when you think that YOU will be rewarded with eternal life because of what HE did?
Application: Sometimes we think it’s “not fair” that God would punish sin with eternal death. How “fair” is it that Jesus suffered and died because YOU (and I) choose to sin? How “fair” is it that we will receive a reward for something we could NOT have possibly done (save ourselves)? We dishonor the sacrifice of Christ when we don’t take time to ponder and meditate on these wonderful truths. Jesus willingly sacrificed Himself for you, to pay your penalty; and He will return someday to reward you for what He did….
James 1:22 – But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (NKJV)
- What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today? What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
- What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?