I remember when I was younger, I wanted a cooler name. Instead of Josh, I wanted to be Sam. Instead of Chun, I wanted to be Lee. Sam Lee. I thought it was a better fit for me. After all, my mother’s maiden name was Lee, and I looked like a “Sam” more than a “Josh.” I thought “Sam” was the coolest name at the time (not so much anymore).
And this sounds heretical, but I thought “Jesus” was an ugly name. Forgive me, Lord. Let me confess some more… even now, His name is not the most aesthetically pleasing. It’s a rough pronunciation to the tongue and if you’re a semi-fob like me, you’ve probably called Him “Jee-jus” your whole life.
Yet there is no sweeter or more beautiful name I know of than the name of Jesus. That’s because a name is more than the way it sounds or looks on paper. A name is the memory bank, the DNA that summarizes the entire life of an individual. When you hear the name of Charles Spurgeon, you think of the Prince of Preachers. Someone says Michael Jordan, and you think “the greatest basketball player of all time”; Michael Jackson, and you’re reminded of the greatest dancer to have ever danced. One mention of a name immediately gives off the fragrance of their scent, the most vivid picture of their face, the way they make you feel. You think of the funny/sweet memories you hold with that person, the secrets they’ve shared with you, the things you cherish about them. You think of the things that make them smile, like small encouragements on post-it notes and pinky-promises, and all the things they hate, like spiders, spinach when stuck in the teeth, cold showers and the like. Names are a curious thing.
What, then, of the name of Jesus?
When I think of Jesus, I think of my best friend. The One who’s stood by me since the first day we met. When I feel lonely and sad, He’s Immanuel – the God who’s close by. Though the night seems dark, His presence blankets me with love. When I feel intimidated by the goliath’s that taunt me, I think of the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the One who roars from within me. It’s comforting to know that my God is unstoppable. When I’m weighed down by the sin in my heart, I think of the Savior King – the Redeemer God who paid for my sin once and for all. He’s already fully paid my penalty, who can accuse me?
I am who “I AM” says I am. In Him is “The Word” of eternal life, the precious words that form the Bible – the eternal words that depict to me His Gospel, the rescue story of a God intervening on behalf of a broken mankind. The story goes like this: stuck in sin, man was unable to save himself. You see, man rebelled against an infinitely holy God and in turn was cursed; sin created a universal gap between us and the “Holy and Righteous One.” There was no remedy, no peace offering that could atone for the heinous crime of our rebellion. In the height of this chaos, “The Word” tells me that God formed a plan to save His creation. From the lineage of the “Son of David,” he gave the prophesied “Messiah,” the last and only line of hope to a fallen mankind. He was the full embodiment of the God of love, “The Way, the Truth, and the Life,” the ultimate expression of God’s love.
One has to know that there is something different about this “Son of Man.” Though he bore the form of a man in every sense, He was/is actually the “Son of God.” This is He who formed the Universe with a spoken Word, the ancient One who existed from eternity past. This God, this Christ left His throne in heaven and came to the earth to be the “Light of the World.” He lived a perfect life for thirty-three years on our behalf so that He could be a sufficient sacrifice for our sins; thirty-three years without committing a single sin. He was, in every sense, perfect and pure – blameless. And because of His perfection, He was able to take our place on the rugged cross as the innocent “Lamb of God,” taking on the full wrath we rightfully deserved for our iniquities. When he conquered sin and death and rose to life on the third day, He became for us “The Resurrection and the Life,” and ascended to the right hand of God to act as our “Mediator” and “Great High Priest.” All who put their faith in this “Prince of Peace” are promised eternal life. He is the “King of Kings” and the Lord of all Lords. He is also the the “Good Shepherd” who didn’t leave us alone when He left for His true home. Before He ascended to heaven, He promised us a Wonderful “Counselor,” one who would point us to the “True Vine,” the “Living Water” and the “Bread of Life.” Eternal life begins when we put our trust in Him. He is the “Rock” impenetrable, the Author and Perfecter of our faith.
What is His name? HIS NAME IS JESUS.
May we never forget that Christmas is about Christ. From the 4CM family to yours, Merry Christmas!
Photograph above by Hi Wallpapers.
Joshua Chun is the Youth Pastor at Temecula Valley Korean Presbyterian Church. He is currently pursuing a BA in Biblical Studies at Life Pacific College. He loves night walks, good conversations, and chilling with good company.