Saturday, March 5, 2016

Is Jesus Named in the Old Testament? Part 2

We are exploring the very real possibility that Jesus is named throughout the Old Testament. The question that I am pondering is, Could it be that His very name echoes throughout the Old Testament whenever the word "salvation" was spoken or written?

Jesus’ name in Hebrew is translated as Yeshua in Matthew 1:21. The angel tells Mary what the Baby's name is to be: “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.”  Yeshua means “the LORD saves."

It thus follows that if the Baby to be born is the Messiah, and His office is to save people from their sins, then Yeshua embodies that very idea that the LORD saves.

Let's look at Strong's Concordance on this.  Here is the entry:

Yeshuw’ah: (yᵉshûwʻâh, yesh-oo'-aw) something saved, i.e. (abstractly) deliverance; hence, aid, victory, prosperity:—deliverance, health, help(-ing), salvation, save, saving (health), welfare. 
The word is used for salvation, deliverance, welfare, prosperity, deliverance, salvation (by God), victory. (emphasis mine)

Now, let's contrast this with another Hebrew word that is translated "salvation."  It is teshuw'ah.  Let's again look at Strong's:   

Teshuw’ah: ( tᵉshûwʻâh, tesh-oo-aw') in the sense of rescue (literal or figurative, persons, national or spiritual):—deliverance, help, safety, salvation, victory. The word is used for salvation, deliverance (usually by God through human agency), salvation (spiritual in sense). (emphasis mine)

Do you notice something?  If Yeshuw'ah implies salvation by God versus Teshuw'ah implies salvation through "human agency," we have a profound idea here.  It is the LORD alone Who saves.  yes, he uses human beings to achieve His ends, but here, the very name given to His anointed supports the idea that it is God Who is doing the saving, not just using a man to do it.  I hear the music of Jesus' deity being sung right here.

Let's go a little further.  You notice that Yeshua means "The LORD saves."  Let's look at the two names for God that are illustrative here.

"God" comes from 'elohiym in Hebrew. Strong's says that "God" can be used, in its plural form, for rulers, judges, divine ones, angels, gods. In its "plural intensive - singular meaning," it can be used for god, goddess, godlike one, works or special possessions of God, the (true) God, God.

But notice, Yeshua doesn't mean "God saves," it means "The LORD saves."

So, let's look to Strong's for the meaning here: Yᵉhôvâh: (yeh-ho-vaw') from H1961; (the) self-Existent or Eternal; Jeho-vah, Jewish national name of God:—Jehovah, the Lord. Compare H3050, H3069.

The LORD is God's covenant name, the very name He gave to Moses on Mount Sinai.  Exodus 14:13-14 is God's response to Moses' inquiry as to Whom Moses has been talking, and what name should he presented to the people.   God responds with the name:  "I Am Who I Am."  This is the Name tucked inside of Yeshua:  The One Who covenanted with His people to lead them out of sinful Egypt to a land of freedom and blessedness.  He would set the captives free.  In fact, Isaiah beautifully outlines what the Messiah's liberation and restoration truly means:

"The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.  He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.  They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor."  (Isaiah 61:1-3)

Yeshua began His ministry by reading the very two verses from this passage.  He stopped at "the Lord's favor" because the "day of vengeance of our God" will come with His second coming.  His first coming would be like Moses leading the children out of Egypt, and like Joshua (yes, that's translated Yeshua) He will lead His children into the Promised Land.

In a sense, the Promise Land harkens to a  return to the Garden of Eden, where God walked among His children.  Yeshua walked among us, bringing us back to that Garden moment.

Yeshua leads us out of slavery to sin, to a Land filled with milk (the Word) and honey (the sweetness of His presence).

His name and His mission echo that the Lord is with us, fighting for us and reminding us how much He loves us.

We will continue to search Yeshua out through the Old Testament.  We will find that name again with Moses.   The echoes of the Lord's Son are just have to listen carefully.

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