Based On: Philippians 2:9-13
Did you know that the New Testament name, Jesus, and the Old Testament name, Joshua, are really the same name? They both come from the Hebrew word, Yeshua. The reason they sound different is that words are often pronounced differently when they move from one language to another and the name “Jesus” has gone from Hebrew to Greek to Latin to English. But however you pronounce it, the personal name of our Savior means, “The LORD saves”.
Isn’t that a fitting name? That was the whole reason for Jesus to come to earth as an infant and receive a name – so that he could save us. And we can’t even imagine how much we needed saving. Let me ask you, how many sins did you commit in 2009? Did you keep track? I didn’t either – there were too many, and so many more of which I wasn’t even aware. If it weren’t for Jesus God would punish me for my sins, but Jesus paid for every one of them whether I knew about it or not. Now I live every new year in the name of Jesus.
There is something else about the name, “Jesus”. Just as Jesus came to earth to suffer that great shame on the cross in our place, God has now exalted him so that the name of “Jesus” is above every name. That simply means that he has power and authority over everything – absolutely everything. In the name of Jesus everything is under his control for our good.
Did 2009 go the way you wanted it to go? Did you accomplish your goals? Jesus accomplished his! At the beginning of 2009 did any of you know how the crops would turn out? Or how cold October would be or how nice November would be? Do you know what will 2010 bring? Jesus knows and he will use it to bless us.
Therefore, every year belongs to him. Jesus determines how it begins and how it ends – he controls what goes on in the middle. Every other power and authority must answer to him whether they realize it or not – earthly power and spiritual power.
What does that mean for us? Through faith we recognize Jesus as our Lord and the Lord of all. We recognize his authority, but we also know he is the Lord that saved us, just as his name indicates. For both of those reasons, all of our years belong to him. Our entire life is a life lived in the name of Jesus.
As one year ends and another begins, we are a year closer to the end of this sinful world. When that end comes, everyone will know that Jesus is Lord. Everyone will see him and bend their knees in submission and will confess that Jesus has authority over them – some with great joy, others with terror in their voice.
With great joy we live out this next year in the name of Jesus, because he is our Lord and he saved us. Have a Happy New Year . . . in the name of Jesus.