And at the end of eight days ... He was called Jesus ... (Luke 2:21).
New Year's Eve was exciting when I was a kid. We say goodbye to the old and ring in the new. With each New Year came all kinds of exciting opportunities, hopes and dreams.
Jesus has now reached the age of eight days and something new is about to happen. Every Israelite boy who reached the age of eight days was required to be circumcised and receive his name. As we saw earlier in the naming of Zechariah and Elizabeth's son John, names were important to the people of Israel.
Mary and Joseph have already been told the Name that God has given for His Son. So in obedience they gave Mary's Child the Name of Jesus. It was a common name at the time. It means "The Lord is salvation" or "The Lord saves." In the Old Testament the names Joshua and Hosea are variants of the name Jesus. Every other Israelite boy carrying this name in effect reminded people to turn their attention to God, who is their salvation.
In the case of Mary's Son it was completely different, however. In His case the Name pointed to Himself as Lord -- the One who is now present to save His people from their sins. Many years from now His enemies will hurl His Name back at Him in mockery, as He hangs on the cross: "He saved others; He cannot save Himself. He trusts in God, let God deliver Him now, if He desires Him. For He said, 'I am the Son of God'" (Matthew 27:42-43).
But there on the cross Jesus was fulfilling His Name -- the Lord saving His people from death and hell by suffering for their sins.
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You truly are the Lord who saves His people. Receive our thanks for being the Savior Your name said You would be. Amen.
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