A name reveals much about who we are; the names of Christ are no different. The Christmas story begins in Genesis 3:15 when God told Satan the offspring of the woman would one day overcome him. At that point, He was nameless to us, except for the “need for seed,” the seed of man.
In giving a unique promise to Abram, Adam’s descendant, God assured him of blessing. By initiating a covenant relationship with Abram, God said that in him “all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Gen. 12: 3). It foreshadowed the One seed who would descend from Abram to save the world: Jesus. In chapter 15 God assured childless Abram that his descendants would multiply like stars. The flesh of an animal was cut, providing a wall of blood to pass through as the covenant was sealed. In chapter 17 God changed Abram’s name to Abraham, showing he would be the “father” of many nations. A new name often accompanies a covenant relationship of oneness and reveals a new identity. No longer was Abram simply the father of his own family; he was divinely chosen as father of many nations and ancestor of the One who would fulfill God’s Gen. 3:15 promise. Everyone would be impacted by Father Abraham’s descendant.
Like Abraham’s name changed when he entered a covenant relationship, so did that of Jesus Son of God. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). When Jesus was born, He humbled himself in a way I can not comprehend, but He provided us the benefit of sharing in His glory. He came as the Son of God, the holy One from heaven, the Prince of Peace. Reaching out for a relationship with man meant complete humility for Him, even down to changing His name.
I’m able to take on the name “child of God,” because Jesus took on the name “Son of Man.”
“Son of Man.” Such a human name to bear, if you’re the Son of God. Such an earthly name, when you’re heavenly. Such a low name, when you’re God Most High. Yet when He entered into a covenant love with us, He took on a new name to identify with us in our flesh: Son of Man.
“And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise” (Gal. 3:29).
“But when thefullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God” (Gal. 4:4-7).
In the Old Testament, Abrahamreceived a new name, and God promised all of Abraham’s descendants would share in his blessing. The name change revealed identity change! If we are Christ’s, then we’re offspring of Abraham, his heirs.
When Jesus took on the form of a man, His new name revealed a change! As flesh and blood, Jesus put on mankind and became the sacrificial Lamb, so we could put Him on. Our covenant exchange of names provided blessing for us. He took on more than our name; the Lamb of God took on our sins. He also took on the understanding of what it means to be tempted and tried like those who are “but dust.” How comforting to know the Son of Man understands. We can be “children of God,” because Jesus became the “Son of Man.”
Because He is the Son of Man, I am a child of God, heir of righteousness, daughter of the King, son not slave, pure not dirty, forgiven not condemned, and redeemed not guilty. No doubt, the covenant exchange of names works in our favor, but I’m so thankful to the Son of Man through whom all the nations of the world are blessed.
How would you finish this sentence: Because He became the Son of Man, I am ____________ instead of _____________?