The Destiny of a Name

Matthew 1:18-25

Today we generally pick children’s names based on preference. But in Old Testament times Jewish parents chose names according to what they desired that child to become or what was taking place at the time of birth. Names carried a sense of the child’s history or destiny. And this is true of Jesus’ name as well.

God the Father chose the name for His Son and communicated it to Joseph, saying, “You shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21). The name literally means “Jehovah is salvation,” which is exactly what Jesus came to do. His work of salvation can be summed up in four words:

Atonement. Our sins have made us enemies of God, but His Son came to pay our penalty by shedding His blood. As a result, all who believe in Him can receive forgiveness and be reconciled to the Father (Rom. 5:10).

Access. Jesus opened the door so we can have a relationship with the Father and confidently come into His presence, knowing that He hears and loves us (John 14:6; Heb. 4:16).

Adoption. We have been adopted as children of God through Jesus Christ and are heirs with Him (Eph. 1:5; Rom. 8:16-17).

Assurance. Through Jesus, we have been given eternal life, which can never be lost (John 5:24). Our future is secure in His name.

Jesus’ destiny was death on a cross so that ours could be eternal life in glory. Whenever we say or hear His name, our hearts should overflow with love and gratitude for our gracious Savior, who sacrificed Himself to save us.

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