With the approach of Good Friday and Easter this weekend, I spent some time thinking about the sacrifice of Jesus. I have been preaching in our church out of the Book of Philippians over the last number of weeks and I was struck by a passage in chapter 2, verses 9-11, “Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
It challenged me to think about God and how I really see Him. Do I really bow at His Name? Do I truly confess Him all the time? Do I really see Him as Lord of all? I ask myself that because I have spoken to many people about “god”. There are many different views and beliefs, but one thing I have noticed is that many people have a hard time putting a face to this God let alone a name.
When you read Exodus 3, the dialogue between God and Moses, the first thing you notice in this text is that God has a name. This is often overlooked. In our culture of spiritualism and mysticism, God is usually pictured as this nebulous Being, unknowable by us finite creatures. Paul discusses this in Acts 17 about a shrine set up to the “unknown god.”
Most polls show a great majority of people believe in some sort of god. We would describe them as theists. But when you press people as to the nature of this god whose existence they admit, their answers become ambiguous. You hear phrases such as “Supreme Being,” “a higher power,” “the force” or “the cosmic energy”.
This is god? Most of the polls though are never specific, rarely asking the question, “Do you believe in the God of the Bible?’” How many of us today believe in a God who demands absolute obedience? How many of us believe in a God of justice and holiness? How many of us believe in a God who cannot tolerate sin? How many people would respond that they believe in a god like that?
My point here is having a god with no name is safe. Such a deity would have no character or personality to make demands or cause us to fear. A god with no face can never get upset or push his rights on us. Even though polls still suggest we are a theistic people, in many ways we are practical atheists. If the majority is anything to go by, people embrace a formless god and run away from the God of the Bible.
So what does this have to do with Easter? In Jesus, God has revealed Himself to us. The way He lived His life is an example and inspiration to many today. Easter, the remembrance and celebration of His death and resurrection show us His love and gives us hope for the future.
Although many in this world believe in a god with no name, I can testify to the opposite. My God does have a name… and His Name is Jesus.