As we continued our series, “Name Above All Names,” this past weekend at Eastbrook Church, I looked at one of Jesus’ most revered titles: Son of God. With roots in the promises to Abraham and David, Jesus’ identity as the Son of God stretches all the way before Creation and speaks of His unique relationship with God the Father and way of living upon earth.
We continued our series on the titles of Jesus, “Name Above All Names,” this past weekend at Eastbrook Church by exploring Jesus as the Son of Man. While it is one of the most misunderstood and forgotten titles of Jesus, it has a special place in the way that Jesus understood Himself. In fact, “Son of Man” is the one title that Jesus used more often than any other name when He talked about Himself.
Extending into the prophetic and apocalyptic traditions of the Hebrew people, join me this week in exploring Jesus as the Son of Man.
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
What does it mean that Jesus, as the Promised Messiah, is the Prince of Peace? This weekend we explored what that peace is and what that peace is not, as well as three specific ways in which Jesus brings the peace of God into our world and our lives.
I continued our new series, “Name Above All Names,” this past weekend at Eastbrook Church. This series began with our Christmas celebration of Jesus as the light of the world, continued in the last two weekends with Jesus as “Friend of Sinners” and “The Gate” (Thanks, Pastor Dan Ryan!), and now turns to Jesus as the “Promised Lamb of God.”
This message leaps off from John the Baptist’s description of Jesus in John 1:29:
Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
The message then looks at four “clues” to Jesus’ identity as the Lamb of God found throughout the Hebrew Bible: the ram provided on Mount Moriah (Genesis 22), the Passover lamb (Exodus 12), the daily sacrifice (Leviticus 1), and the suffering servant (Isaiah 52-53).
This past weekend at Eastbrook Church we began a new series entitled “Name Above All Names.” In this series, which flows out of our Christmas celebration of Jesus as the light of the world, we want to focus on Jesus, learning more about who He is by giving attention to the titles, or names, of Jesus.
Scripture tells us that after Jesus’ death and resurrection “God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name” (Philippians 2:9). We also believe “there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must saved” (Acts 4:12). A person’s name tells us so much about them and this is true even more with Jesus. Throughout the Scripture we find different titles – or names – given to Jesus, whether in prophecy, the acclamation of others, or Jesus’ own statements about Himself. In this series after Christmas we will explore ten titles of Jesus that help us grasp key truths we need to know about who Jesus is.
As part of my message this past weekend on Daniel 12, “Faith at the End of All Things,” I shared a list of parallels about how Jesus is not only Savior and Forgiver, but also takes all the history of Israel into Himself and becomes the new Israel as the Messiah. A number of people asked if I would share that list, and so I’m doing that here.
A Messiah will come and bring hope and life for humanity. He will be like the Son of Man figure in Daniel 7, worthy of worship and like God. But he will also take all the history of Israel into himself and bring its fulfillment through His life death and resurrection. And so:
- Jesus’ humble birth at the edges of civilization parallels Israel’s humble beginnings as a nomadic tribe of Abraham.
- Jesus’ baptism parallels Israel’s crossing of the Red Sea after the Exodus
- Jesus’ testing in the desert for 40 days parallels Israel’s wandering in the wilderness for 40 years
- Jesus’ teaching and miracles as God’s tabernacle in flesh parallels the building of the tabernacle and temple where heaven touched earth in God’s presence
- Jesus’ death on the Cross parallels the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, and the overrunning of God’s people
- Jesus’ burial in the tomb parallels the exile of God’s people from the Promised Land
- Jesus’ resurrection in the tomb parallels the double exodus of liberation from slavery in Egypt and liberation from exile in Babylon
- And Jesus ascension to the Father’s right hand parallels the future resurrection that awaits humanity at the end of our lives and the cataclysmic end of human history at Christ’s return
This is why, with Peter, we can celebrate Jesus as not only our Forgiver and Savior, but the resurrected bringer of hope with God for humanity.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3).
Here is a poem that I wrote a few years back in which I reflect upon the wonder and mystery of the incarnation. Here I weave together some phrases from the old hymn “What Child Is This?” with my own reflective wonder upon Jesus’ birth.
“A virgin shall conceive and bear a son”:
myth, mystery, and mundane all meshed
and tied together in the smooth-soft flesh
and needy cries of infancy undone.
What child is this that draws attention from
ignoble shepherds, star-bent foreigners,
and vicious king? How could this tiny child reverse
the world-wrought sin-space of human life?
This frail form hides deep within
tough and tender truths of God,
who chose to bare His very self in odd,
unguessed, and weakest shape to those in sin.
He dashed, and dashes, human renderings
in strongest weakness piercing everything.