His Name

His Name shall be in their foreheads” (Rev. 22:4).
Thou shalt call His Name JESUS” (Matt. 1:21).

“His Name” occurs first in the first chapter of the New Testament and for the last time in its last chapter, and the fragrance and light of it pervade the Book. In the Old Testament the name of Adam is developed, the man by whom sin entered into the world and death by sin. This issued in darkness as well as death, for ignorance and distrust of God is darkness. In Isaiah’s graphic language, “Darkness covered the earth and gross darkness the people,” and it was into such conditions that Jesus came. There were some exceptions, just a few, a believing remnant, looked for redemption in Israel and caught the light of the first rays of the glory of the coming Redeemer. Of His coming one of these watchers for Him said, “The Dayspring from on high has visited us, to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, through the tender mercy of our God”; and when He did appear in the midst of Israel the words of the prophet were fulfilled. “The people which sat in darkness saw a great light, and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.” For light instead of darkness and life instead of death we are dependent upon Him whose Name is JESUS.

His first coming was not as the lightning that flashes out of the east and shines even unto the west, such His second coming will be (Matt. 24:27); His first coming was gentle as the dawn, making none afraid. He was in the form of God and thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but He laid aside His glory and made Himself of no reputation and was found in fashion as a man—a Babe in a manger-cradle, for there was no room for Him at the inn. It was then that His Name was given to Him, a Name proclaiming His great humility and the object of His coming. “Thou shalt call His Name Jesus for He shall save His people from their sins.” “Unto us a child is born.” We are not afraid of a child! “Unto us a son is given.” We do not shrink in terror from a son!

There could be only this one reason for His coming in such a manner. If God had desired to send to men a message of warning, or entreaty, or command, a servant like unto the prophets would have done, for at sundry times in such manner God spoke to men of old. If He had intended to make an example of sinners by executing His righteous judgment upon them, an angel or two would have sufficed, as in the case of the guilty cities of the plain. But now something beyond the power of men and angels had to be done. The time had come when God would reveal Himself as the Saviour-God, and who could reveal what God is but God? The only begotten Son which is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him. “The fulness of the time had come and God had sent forth His Son, made of a woman” (Gal. 4:4). And “all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a Son, and they shall call His Name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”

If sinners were to be saved God must come down to them, and if God comes down to sinners He must come as the Saviour. His very nature demands it, for God is love, and His wisdom found a way by which He can save according to the righteousness of the eternal throne. And the Name of Jesus was the pledge to men of this. Blessed Name. Name of reproach on earth, name of ignominy on the cross. Name above every name in heaven. Name indelibly engraved upon the hearts of His own. Name that shall call forth the eternal praise of the limitless realm of the Redeemer-God.

But, He had to pay a great price in order to make good His title to that Name. The cross with its inconceivable sorrows and the shedding of His precious blood was the cost to Him. The accusation nailed upon His cross was, “This is JESUS,” and it was written in Hebrew, Greek and Latin, for all the world to read. The rejected, suffering Nazarene, crucified for us, wounded for our transgressions—“This is Jesus,” and apart from that cross He could not have been Jesus. The chief priests mocked Him, saying, “Come down from the cross that we may see and believe.” He could not have come down from the cross, for His Name was Jesus, and had He come down as they mockingly demanded He would have been compelled to divest Himself of that Name and there would have been no salvation for any sinner, and the work that God gave Him to do would never have been done.
  “If sinners ever were to know
    The depths of love divine,
  All Calvary’s suffering and its woe,
    Blest Saviour must be Thine.”

We are well acquainted with the results of Adam’s sin, the whole world groans beneath them. Violence and corruption, pride and selfishness are everywhere, and Adam’s name is written large on every brow of Adam’s race, for “all have sinned.” But what shall be the result of the coming of Jesus, and what does that Name mean to God and to men? Shall His Name be written on any brow? Shall the heavenly graces—the weakness, gentleness, compassion and love that shed their fragrance amid the moral putrefaction of Adam’s world—survive and be reproduced? The prophet cried, “Who shall declare His generation? for He was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgressions of my people was He stricken.” It did seem to friend and foe alike that He would have no generation, that the cross and the grave would be the complete end of His mission and that the fair Name of Jesus would be blotted out, or at the best, remain only a memory. But “except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die it abides alone, but if it die it brings forth much fruit.” Hear the witness of Simon Peter when filled with the Holy Ghost he spoke of Him. “This Jesus has God raised up, whereof we are all witnesses” (Acts 2:32). “Know assuredly, that God has made that same Jesus both Lord and Christ” (2:36). “The God of our fathers, has glorified His Son Jesus” (3:13). “The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree, Him has God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour” (5:30-31). And Paul adds his witness to that of Peter, “Wherefore, God also has highly exalted Him, and given Him a Name which is above every name: that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:9-11).

It is God’s command “that we should believe on the Name of His Son Jesus Christ,” and the sins of all who obey this command are forgiven them “for His Name’s sake” (1 John 2:12), and all these belong to Him, and the Spirit of the living God is even now writing His Name upon the fleshy tables of their hearts. But the great end in view lies ahead of us, for “in the ages to come God will show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” Then His Name shall be in the foreheads of all His own. “As we have borne the image of the earthly, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” All trace of the first man, fallen and degraded, shall have passed away and we shall be like Him—the last Adam, for “we shall see Him as He is.” His mighty power will effect this change. for” He shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself.”

What God is in His own blessedness and love will shine forth on all around Him, and “His servants shall serve Him,” without faltering or failure; with willing service and in fulness of joy, “And they shall see His face.” There will be no cloud, no distance there to mar the communion and intimacy of that heavenly scene.

“With eyes undimmed shall we our God behold,
Behold Him face to face and walk in light.”

Conformed to the image of God’s dear Son, His Name shall be in our foreheads; indelibly engraved there for all the universe to see that we belong to Him; His brethren, in the midst of whom He will be eternally pre-eminent. Like Him, too, in spite of the world, the flesh and the devil; like Him, fruit of His sacrifice and death, then He shall see of the travail of His soul and be satisfied. And we shall be satisfied when we awake in His likeness (Ps. 17:15).

  “Like Jesus in that place
    Of light and love supreme;
  Once Man of Sorrows, full of grace,
    Heaven’s blest and endless theme.”
“Thou shalt call His Name Jesus.”
“His Name shall be in their foreheads.”

J. T. Mawson