Archives for December 12, 2012

Heartfelt Questions about Christ (VIII)


Question: What are the two most common names of the Mediator?

His two most common names are Jesus and Christ.

Why is the Mediator named Jesus?

The name Jesus means “Jehovah saves.” The English name Jesus is derived from the Hebrew Yehoshua, where Yeh or Yah is a short form of Jehovah’s name, and the rest of the name comes from the Hebrew verb yashah, to save. Thus the angel said to Joseph, “thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21). The name Jesus is essentially the same as the Old Testament names Hosea and Joshua.

How was Hosea a type of Christ?

Hosea was a prophet who proclaimed the gospel of God’s free love and saving grace towards sinful people (Hos. 14:1–5). Jesus, the greater Hosea, is the prophet who brought in unsurpassed clarity the gospel of God’s great tenderness to miserable sinners who have nothing loveable in themselves.

How was Joshua, the son of Josedech, a type of Christ?

Joshua served as high priest in the time of restoration from exile (Hag. 1:1, 12, 14). In Zechariah’s vision Joshua appeared wearing filthy clothes in the presence of God while Satan accused him. These clothes were taken from him and replaced with beautiful clothes, a picture of the justification of God’s people in the person of their representative (Zech. 3). The greater high priest, Jesus, became sin for His people, bearing their filth as their substitute, and pleaded their cause based on His obedience and sacrifice. In them they are clothed in righteousness.

How was Joshua, the son of Nun, a type of Christ?

Moses, the prophet of law, couldn’t lead Israel into the promised land, just as the law cannot save us, though it strips us of our righteousness and leads us to Christ. Moses inaugurated the rule of Joshua, who like a king led Israel to defeat their enemies and enter the land of rest (Deut. 3:28; 31:7). Jesus Christ, the greater Joshua, crushes the head of every enemy and brings His elect into the spiritual and eternal rest awaiting them.

Why didn’t someone like Joshua or Hosea hold all three offices?

God reserved the honor of being prophet, priest, and king to Jesus. All office-bearers in the Old Testament were types of Christ. They were imperfect and incomplete; Christ has the fullness. They were anointed with oil and the Spirit, but Christ is anointed with the Holy Spirit without measure to save His people (Isa. 61:1; John 3:34).

What does it mean that Jesus “saves” people?

Abraham Hellenbroek said that this saving consists “in delivering a person from the greatest evil and making him a part of the supreme good” (A Specimen of Divine Truths, 39). The greatest evil is our sin, in its defiling pollution, its dominating power, and its damning provocation of the wrath of God. The supreme good is fellowship with God. Every true child of God, whether a beginner or advanced in grace, longs to be rescued from sin and to taste abiding communion and closeness with God.

What does this mean for me personally?

Do you know Jesus? Have you met Him in the Scriptures? Is He precious to you? Is His name really “Jesus”—Jehovah saves—for you? Have you, by faith, laid your hand upon Him? Have you received Him as the prophet to teach you infallible truth, the priest to clothe you in perfect righteousness, and the king to lead you in victorious triumph over sin and Satan?

On Judgment Day, the most important question will not be, “Have you sinned?” It will be, “What have you done with Jesus?”