Jesus: The Lord Is Salvation

The name Joshua is a compound Hebrew word.  In Hebrew, “Jo,” or “Yah,” is the shortened form of the name of the Lord, Yahweh (often brought into English as “Jehovah”).  “Shua” is the Hebrew word for salvation.  So the name “Joshua” means “Yahweh (the Lord) is salvation.”  This was a common Hebrew name, as faithful Jews readily acknowledged that the Lord provided salvation for them.

When we come to the New Testament, the name Jesus comes from the Greek form of the Hebrew name Joshua. So the name Jesus also means “Yahweh is salvation.”  The Lord is the one who provides salvation.  But when an angel brought news of the birth of Jesus to Joseph, the angel made a remarkable claim about who Jesus is.  Matthew 1:20-21 says, “But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.  And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.”  Joseph was told that the baby’s name should be “Jesus,” which in itself shouldn’t be a surprise, since Jews often used this name to express their faith in the Lord.  But the angel said, “For he [this baby named Jesus] shall save his people from their sins.”  So essentially, Jesus’ name means “the Lord is salvation,” and Jesus Himself will provide salvation.  The remarkable claim of the angel is that Jesus is Yahweh, the God of Israel.  When we understand the meaning of the name combined with what Jesus does for is in providing salvation, then the statement of the Bible is clear: Jesus is the Lord; He is divine.

This should come as no surprise, since the Bible repeatedly asserts the deity of Christ.  Speaking of Jesus, Hebrews 1:8 says, “But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.”  God the Father says to God the Son (Jesus) that His throne will last forever.  Jesus is directly addressed as God.  This verse is quoted from Psalm 45:6, which says, “Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: The sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre.”  This verse uses the common Hebrew word for God, “Elohim.”  Elohim is the word for deity.  It can refer to the true God of Israel, or it can refer to the false gods of the other nations around them.  The true God often reveals Himself through His names, one of which is Yahweh (Jehovah).  So Elohim is the word for God, while Yahweh (Jehovah) is a specific name for the one true God (Isaiah 45:5).  Both of these words are applied in their fullest sense to Jesus Christ.  So Jesus is God and Lord, as the name Jesus clearly states.

When we see who Jesus is, the only proper response is that of Thomas after he saw the resurrected Jesus.  John 20:28 says, “And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.”  When we see that the name Jesus directly shows us that Jesus is Lord and God, the only right response is to acknowledge that in our personal lives.  We too need to acknowledge Jesus as God and Lord, meaning that He has authority in our lives, and that we should listen to what He says.

–Pastor Tim

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