Isaiah 9:2-7 “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined. You have multiplied the nation; you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as they are glad when they divide the spoil. For the yoke of the burden, and the staff for his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian. For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult and every garment rolled in blood will be burned as fuel for the fire. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.”
To Christians, Jesus, the Son of God, is the cornerstone of our faith. Had God not set up His plan to send Jesus down to earth, we would be lost in our sins. Had Jesus not lived the perfect, sinless life, we would be lost in our sins. Had Jesus not been willing to follow through with God’s plan to die the cruel death on the cross, we would be lost in our sins. Had Jesus not been raised from the dead, (in the word’s of Paul, “…your faith is in vain…”) we would be lost in our sins. Finally, if we had no way of partaking in Jesus’ death being buried with him through baptism, we would be lost in our sins. Jesus Christ is essential to our salvation!
1Corinthians 15:50-57 “I tell you this, brothers: Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Since Jesus Christ is so profoundly important to us as Christians, it is only fitting that we should know Him by name, not unlike, but not to the same extent as, Jesus knowing us by name (John 10). Jesus is called or referenced by many different names in the Bible, which is evidenced by one list online showing Jesus having over 200 different names. One list I created and think about often, though not comprehensive by any means, is a list of eleven names that give a time line of Christ’s life. I appreciate this list because it allows me to consider specific attributes/stories about Jesus in a fashion that is easy to remember due to the progression of the names starting before Christ’s life on earth through Him being seated on the right hand of God. Some of the names bring to mind thoughts of awe while others bring to mind thoughts of thankfulness and duty. I also value this list because it allows me to refer to Jesus in different contexts and it opens up some variety in my prayer life. I can thank God for Jesus, but I can also thank God for the Great Teacher, the Resurrection, or for the Way, the Truth and the Life, depending upon what is on my heart/mind at the time. I hope the following list is helpful to you in some fashion like it has been helpful to me.
The Word – John 1:1
Only Begotten Son – John 3:16
Carpenter – Mark 6:3
Teacher – John 3:2 / John 13:13
Servant – Acts 3:26
Prophet – Matthew 21:11/ Luke 13:31-35
The Way, the Truth, and the Life – John 14:6
Lamb of God – John 1:29 / Rev. 13:8
The Resurrection and the Life – John 11:17-44 (vs. 25 specifically)
The Head of the Church – Col. 1: 9-20 (vs. 18 specifically)
The Judge – 2Tim. 4:1
Philippians 3:8-11 “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.