The Name of the Lord
[Jesus said,] “ I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’” Matthew 23:39
For over three years, Jesus had talked on hillsides and in private homes, He had argued with religions leaders to show people a new way to live, and He had healed countless sick and crippled people. He longed for people to grasp the truth of God’s grace and experience real life, but many-far too many-had said no to Him. As He approached Jerusalem during His last week on earth, His heart broke for the people. Their stubbornness and hard hearts would prove devastating to them, and He knew it. He cried out in sadness, and He told them they would miss out on the greatest things in life: knowing and following Him.
Jesus promised to come back. In His first time on earth, He came with a warm heart and a message of Grace. when He comes again, however, He will come as the powerful, avenging Judge.
When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey the week before He was killed, the crowd shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord,!’” (Matthew 21:9). And they celebrated. When He comes back, people will say the same words, but on that day, He will complete the transformation He began so many years before. On that future day, human history will culminate in a cataclysmic shift, and Christ will rule on earth.
Jesus gives all of us a choice: to acknowledge Him as our Savior now and celebrate, or acknowledge Him as Judge when H e comes back. Which choice have you made? Which choice have your friends and family made?
“Who can deny that Jesus of Nazareth, the incarnate Son of the Most High God, is the Eternal Glory of the Jewish race?”
Paul tells us in Philippians 2 that Christ has been given a name above every name and that one day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that He is Lord!
For this reason also [because He obeyed and so completely humbled Himself], God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow [in submission], of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess and openly acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord (sovereign God), to the glory of God the Father.
The songwriter penned the words, “What a day glorious day that will be” for those who choose now to bow in worship and proclaim that Christ is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. On that day they will continue doing what they are doing now but in a more powerful and glorious way. We who are the children of God are given many opportunities to bow on our knees and lift up our voices in praise and adoration to Christ. How unfortunate it is that ma y of us fail to take the advantage of those opportunities. Instead we often sit quietly by and Christ receives very little praise from us. Jesus Himself invited us to praise, for he said that if we were silent the rocks and trees would cry out in praise. There it is. If you need permission to give expressive and elaborate praise to God, Jesus has given us permission to do so.
I’m sure that there are those who think heaven is in silent reverence before God and none dare to speak but that’s not what the Bible teaches. We may be required to sit in silence in the presence of worldly powers and dignitaries but that’s not how it is in heaven. Every since they were created the heavenly host have been acknowledging God in worship. Hear how John describes it in Revelation:
And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes all over and within [underneath their wings]; and day and night they never stop saying, “ Holy, holy, holy [is the] Lord God, the Almighty [the Omnipotent, the Ruler of all], who was and who is and who is to come [the unchanging, eternal God].” Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanksgiving to Him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and they worship Him who lives forever and ever; and they throw down their crowns before the throne, saying, “Worthy are You, our Lord and God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they exist, and were created and brought into being.”
Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and [the voice] of the living creatures and the elders; and they numbered myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands (innumerable), saying in a loud voice, “Worthy and deserving is the Lamb that was sacrificed to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.” And I heard every created thing that is in heaven or on earth or under the earth [in Hades, the realm of the dead] or on the sea, and everything that is in them, saying [together], “To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb (Christ), be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.” And the four living creatures kept saying, “Amen.” And the elders fell down and worshiped [Him who lives forever and ever].
We can begin rehearsal now so n that day we will give out “perfected praise.” In Matthew as Jesus was entering Jerusalem people began to lift up their voices in praise but the religious leaders tried to get them to cease their praise. Jesus responds:
But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful and miraculous things that Jesus had done, and heard the boys who were shouting in [the porticoes and courts of] the temple [in praise and adoration], “Hosanna to the Son of David (the Messiah),” they became indignant and they said to Him, “Do You hear what these children are saying?” And Jesus replied to them, “Yes; have you never read [in the Scripture], ‘Out of the mouths of infants and nursing babies You have prepared and provided praise for Yourself’?” Being deeply grieved and extremely distressed, each one of them began to say to Him, “Surely not I, Lord?”
The Bible not only gives us permission to praise but it also instructs us to praise God. (See Psalm 150) So go ahead the next time you gather with the people of God in what is called a worship service and lift up your voice in praise and adoration to God. If someone tells you that you should be silent, be like blind Bartimaeusm, praise a little louder. I’m not suggesting we try to bring attention to ourselves or to make a nuisance of ourselves but I just want to ask a question. How can a child of God who has been delivered from the pit of sin and the punishment of hell remain stoic? I leave you with the words of one of my favorite songs:
“When I think about the Lord, how He saved me, how He raised me, how he picked me up, and He turned me around, how He placed my feet on solid ground. Makes me wanna shout Hallelujah, thank You Jesus, Lord You’re worthy of all the glory and all the praise!”
Dr. John Thompson