What's in a Name?

Dr. Ray Pritchard
Dr. Ray Pritchard
2014 4 Mar

Source: marriagelifeministries.org

Tomorrow we begin our Lenten journey through the names of Christ. Here’s the Introduction to the whole series from Lord of Glory. (You can download the ebook for free through March 5. After that, it will cost $2.99.)

One of the many important decisions confronting new parents is, “What shall we call our baby?” Most new parents spend hours debating this question. We all realize that names matter. Shall the new baby be named after his father, his uncle, a favorite friend? Should he be given a name that happens to be popular at the moment? Or one that simply sounds good?

Names are important because you tend to become what your name represents. Occasionally you’ll run across a person with multiple names, such as Charles Phillip Arthur George. That sounds odd until you discover it’s Prince Charles, the next in line to the throne of the United Kingdom and heir apparent to his mother, Queen Elizabeth. If four names seem like a lot, remember he’s royalty and he needs a long name.

So it is with Jesus.

The Bible contains many names of Christ. I found one website that lists 100 names, another with 150, and still another 200 names of Christ. Each one unlocks an aspect of his character. They teach who he is and how he can help us today. In this Lenten devotional series we’ll be looking at some of the names, titles and descriptions of Christ as we walk with Jesus toward the cross and the empty tomb.

His names tell us who he is.
His names tell us why he came.
His names tell us how he can help us.
His names tell us why we worship him.

The term Lent refers to a season of preparation covering the six weeks leading up to Easter. In most traditions, it begins on Ash Wednesday and continues through Holy Saturday, the day before Easter. This year Lent begins on March 5.

In the evangelical wing of the church, we’re never sure what to do about Lent. Often we have ignored it. But there always something to be said for preparing our hearts for big events. And Easter is the ultimate Big Event. 

So this year we will focus on the names of Christ, taking a different one each day beginning on March 5 and ending on April 20, Easter Sunday.

Writing in 1866, William Dowling said this about the names of Christ:

“By contemplating these Sacred and suggestive titles believers in Jesus may hope to increase their faith, purify their love, and learn more of the Great Master’s holy will.”

May that be your experience during this Lenten season.

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