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Light for My PathNames of Christ: A Christmas Reflection
by Kathryn Grant
The scriptures are filled with meaningful names of Christ that give us more understanding about His role in our lives and His many gifts to us.
Some names are familiar — perhaps so much that we forget (or perhaps never thought about) their significance. Others may be less common. But each is worthy of our consideration and reflection, especially during this holy season of the year.
Here are descriptions and scriptures for just a few:
Messiah. An Aramaic word meaning “the anointed.” Jesus was anointed to be our Savior. Christ, from the Greek, has the same meaning.
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. (Isaiah 61:1 – 2; see also verses 3 – 4.)
Redeemer. One who pays the price to free another from some kind of prison or bondage.
And now the year of my redeemed is come; and they shall mention the loving kindness of their Lord, and all that he has bestowed upon them according to his goodness, and according to his loving kindness, forever and ever. (D&C 133:52.)
Savior. One who delivers others from some kind of danger or crisis from which they cannot deliver themselves.
And the angel spake unto me, saying: These last records ... shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father, and the Savior of the world; and that all men must come unto him, or they cannot be saved. (1 Nephi 13:40.)
Lamb of God. A name for Christ which refers to His humility and His sacrifice for us. Primarily used by the Apostle John and Nephi, who both saw the same vision (1 Nephi 14:24).
The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and said; Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world! (John 1:29.)
The Rock. A name for Christ which refers to His strength and reliability as our sure foundation.
And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall. (Helaman 5:12.)
Healer. One who brings about physical and spiritual health in others. Christ heals us primarily by taking our wounds upon Himself and overcoming them.
Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:4–5.)
A related name is used by Malachi who prophesies with beautiful imagery that the “Sun of righteousness [shall] arise with healing in his wings.” (Malachi 4:2.)
Counselor. One who advises another and provides valuable insight and guidance.
Wherefore, brethren, seek not to counsel the Lord, but to take counsel from his hand. For behold, ye yourselves know that he counseleth in wisdom, and in justice, and in great mercy, over all his works. (Jacob 4:10.)
Messenger of the Covenant. A name which expresses how Jesus both teaches the gospel covenant of salvation, and makes it possible through His atonement.
The Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts. (Malachi 3:1.)
Prince of Peace. A ruler who exemplifies and promotes peace among His people.
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end.... (Isaiah 9:6 – 7.)
Mediator. One who intercedes to bring about reconciliation between two estranged parties.
And now, my sons, I would that ye should look to the great Mediator, and hearken unto his great commandments; and be faithful unto his words, and choose eternal life, according to the will of his Holy Spirit. (2 Nephi 2:28.)
My Strength and My Song. A name that calls to mind the enabling power of the atonement, as well as the rejoicing and praise of those who are redeemed through Christ.
Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. (Isaiah 12:2.)
This name seems especially appropriate at Christmas time, as we celebrate the birth of Jesus through beautiful songs and carols of praise.
Emmanuel. A name taken from the Hebrew words meaning “God with us,” signifying that God Himself would come to live among us to save us.
Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. (Matthew 1:23.)
May we remember our Lord and the meaning of His wonderful names at Christmas time and always. Merry Christmas!
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