In a recent Revive Our Hearts message entitled "Fully Human, Fully God," Nancy Leigh DeMoss taught on the name of Jesus and what it means to call Him "Savior." The preciousness of His name can often be lost, and there is no better time to reflect on its true meaning than the Christmas season.
Nancy Leigh DeMoss is a passionate follower of Jesus Christ and a gifted Women's ministry teacher. On a recent radio program, DeMoss highlighted the true reason for celebrating Christmas, which is wrapped up in the name of Jesus Christ. She began by reading Luke 2:21, a passage which tells us about the humanity of Christ, the deity of Christ, the identity of Christ, and the humility of Christ, Who came to earth and took on human flesh:
"And at the end of eight days, when He was circumcised, He was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb" (English Standard Version).
The humanity of Jesus Christ is made clear in the Scriptures (see John 1:14, Galatians 4:4, and Philippians 2:7). The Son of God had become a physical baby; He spent nine months in Mary's womb, and was born on the night that Mary and Joseph traveled to Bethlehem for a census registration. Eight days after Jesus was born, He was circumcised in accordance with God's command to Abraham and his offspring (see Genesis 17:11-13). "It is important for us to realize that Jesus, the Son of God, became human .... He got hungry, He got thirsty, He got tired ... He suffered physically," says DeMoss.
Jesus chose to become a man so that He could suffer as a man and redeem men with His death on the cross, where the wrath of God was poured on Him for our sake. Hebrews 2:17 says that Christ had to become like us in every respect so that He might make atonement for our sins. This was not an ethereal task, DeMoss explains - "He was physically crucified, and He physically died. His body was physically buried, and His body was physically raised from the dead," she says of Christ's historical death and resurrection.
The passage in Luke chapter two also highlights the deity of Christ, Who was not conceived in just any womb - He was given to Mary, a virgin, by the power of the Holy Spirit (see Luke 1:35). "[Jesus'] birth was supernatural ... this is no ordinary human birth," DeMoss says. Jesus' identity had been revealed by God to the Israelites centuries before He became man; Isaiah 9:6 says:
"For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
"We're told, hundreds of years before He was born, Who this child was-that He was God. He was one with the Father," says DeMoss. Mary was told by an angel what she was to name the baby in Luke 1:31-32a. His name, "Jesus" or "Joshua" in Hebrew, means "Jehovah is Salvation"- "for He shall save His people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21b). Joshua was a common name for Jewish boys in Jesus' time, in honor of the Old Testament leader who brought the Israelites into the Promised Land. Joshua was a deliverer for the people of Israel, and his life pointed to a greater Deliverer Who was to come - the One Who would "deliver His people from their sins," DeMoss says.
"The fact that we have a Savior is not precious to us unless we know we need to be saved from something," explains DeMoss - "If I go and offer to help save you today, but you're not drowning or you're not in a burning house, or you don't have something you need to be saved from, you say, 'Well, that's nice of you to offer, but I don't think I need any salvation today.'" Jesus came to "offer salvation to those of us who need a Savior-that's all of us," says DeMoss - "We needed to be saved from our sin. We needed to be saved from the wrath of God. We needed to be saved from the judgment of God."
DeMoss explains that Christ has not only saved those who trust in Him from their past sins, but He also saves us from our future sins as well, and sanctifies us so that our character grows to mirror His. Jesus is a refuge for those who put their trust in Him (see Proverbs 18:10), and only by His name can we be saved (see Acts 4:12).
"Muhammad cannot save you. Buddha cannot save you. Confucius cannot save you. Your pastor or your priest cannot save you ... Your church membership cannot save you. Your Christian parents cannot save you," explains DeMoss - "There is only one name that can save you. That is the name of Jesus."
DeMoss ended her broadcast with a heartfelt prayer - "Father, I pray that some listening today will believe and be saved as they run to the name of Jesus and place their trust in Him and Him alone. Lord, I pray for many listening who are in a place of hardship, a place of trials, and of struggling. May they run to the name of Jesus and find safety and security. Lord, may all of us during this season worship and praise You for that sweet name, the name of Jesus. We pray in that name, amen."