Chapter 1 – the savior

Something To Consider:
Popular titles are the real titles. Lincoln was president, but “Honest Abe” and “Father Abraham” indicated true fame. William of Orange was a prince, but “William the Silent” describes him better. Washington was commander in chief of the army, and our first president, but essentially, he was the “Father of His Country.”

Some of the most conspicuous characters of history have disclosed their lack of inherent power by failing to receive these popular designations of honor and affection; and some who have never risen to office or station, like the “Quaker Poet,” have won by some loving household name their patent of popularity.

But of all those who have ever lived on earth, no one is hailed with so many titles of praise and affection as Jesus. No famous name of history even approaches Him in this regard. Before me as I write is a list of forty-six titles of Jesus, and the list is incomplete. This one fact alone would prove His unique supremacy among the sons of men, even were the titles not such as no other person has ever received, and more beautiful, more exalted, and more reverential.

Let us study the chief names in a series of fourteen chapters. The study will disclose to us the many sides of the character of Jesus. It will show us His majesty and His lowliness, His glory and His friendliness, His deity and His humanity. It will lead us to bow in adoration, and to press to His side in joyful confidence and trust. There can be no more fruitful subject of meditation than “The Glorious Names of Jesus.”

Something Else To Consider:
The first title we should consider is, of course, that of “The Savior.” Jesus, itself means that! It is an imitation of the Greek form of Jeshua, which in turn is a late form of Jehoshua, or Joshua, and signifies “Jehovah Is Salvation.” It is the sacred name which the angel bade Mary give her coming Son, “For it is He who shall save His people from their sins.”

We come to know the preciousness of this title of Jesus only through personal experience. Another’s life record will not suffice; our own heart must realize its foulness, its shame, and its unutterable need, and we ourselves must find in Jesus the cleansing for our filth, the righteousness for our disgrace, and the fullness for all our need.

Until we ourselves, after frantic attempts to save ourselves, have wholly failed, and then have turned to Jesus and have been triumphantly redeemed, we cannot understand the grateful adoration with which men, women, and young people hail Him as their Savior.

Something More To Consider:
I once knew an honored clergyman who always impressed me with the way he spoke the words, “Our Precious Redeemer.” It is an old-fashioned term today, and it was old-fashioned then, but his utterance of it filled it with much meaning. The atonement was evidently a very real thing to him, and endlessly wonderful. He spoke those words with awe and yet with a glad confidence. They summarized the gospel, the good news.

Why is it that the word “Redeemer” is seldom uttered, and “Savior” only less infrequently? Why is it that our common modern term for Jesus is “The Master” or “The Great Teacher” or “The Man of Galilee”? These are noble and highly significant names, to be sure, but they are not the title of Jesus, the central interpretation of His nature and life. If Jesus is not the Savior, the Redeemer, then He is only a man of Galilee, a misguided teacher, and not our Master at all!

Christians are not curious as to the precise way in which Jesus saves. There are many theories of the atonement, but the fact of the atonement suffices for them. Rather, so blessedly sure are they of their redemption, so profoundly do they revere their Redeemer, that they ask of the theory only this, that it shall ascribe to Him the highest glory, that it shall involve the longest planning, that it shall picture the utmost thoroughness of divine action.

Their sins, they know, have been taken away, and rest no longer, a crushing burden, upon them. Their thankfulness leaps to the certainty that they are resting upon Him. They know that they were dead in their sins. They find it easy to believe that He, Jesus, entered into death to reach them and bring them out into eternal life. They do not see how it were possible otherwise. They are sure that no theology can overpaint the Savior’s sacrifice and the fullness of His atoning grace.

Therefore, “A Religion of Blood,” unbelievers call our faith, finding it repulsive. Would a child speak thus of a mother who died in giving birth to her child, or of a father who was slaughtered in a war for his country? A religion of love must be a religion of blood. The transfusion of blood is our modern surgical symbol of self-sacrifice. No thinker, certainly no lover, will fail to see that the communion cup is the most beautiful, natural, and moving emblem of a God who is love.

A Few Final Words:
Jesus is often called the human name of our Lord. True, but is it not also the divine name? As we come to understand it, to interpret it as “God our Savior,” does even “Christ,” does even “The Messiah,” really add anything to it?

As we remember our sinful past, as we indulge in our present freedom, as we look with hope to a blessed eternity, every day we see more clearly, with the apostle Paul, that God gave our Savior, “The name which is above every name; that in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven and things on earth and things under the earth.”

Let’s Pray:
Our Father in heaven, thank You for the forgiveness of our sins and trespasses that were and are against You. Forgive us for our having taken for granted the blood sacrifice and heaven-approved atonement found in the blood of Jesus Christ, our eternally living Savior, Master, and Great Teacher of the Word of God. In Him Always, Amen!

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