Have you ever wondered about all the names that the Son of God inherited when He left heaven and came to earth to be the Savior of the world? When He arrived in a manger in Bethlehem, He was given the human name of Jesus, which is the Greek spelling of the Hebrew name, Joshua, which is Hebrew for “Yahweh Saves.” Thus, Jesus means the Savior. He was the Messiah, which is a Hebrew for “Annointed One.” When that word was translated into Greek the equivalent word chosen was “Christos,” the Christ. He was also called the Son of Man, Lord, Master, and Teacher. But the arrogant rulers of Jerusalem called Him a blasphemor (Jn 10:33), as well as a glutton and a drunk, a friend of tax collectors and sinners (Matt 11:19; Lu 7:34)!
He was called these latter names for a good reason. Jesus was a friend of the outcasts. He was a friend to people like us. He would’ve hung out with the likes of us, if He were to come again to visit earth. He would have tail-gated on the outskirts of LSU Tiger Stadium. He would’ve come to our birthday parties, our New Year’s Eve parties, and we would have invited all of our friends over to BBQ in the back yard with Him.
He hung out with the ordinary people of His day because one of His names was Emmanuel. This name is made up of a prepositional phrase, with El (Hebrew for God) added to the end. The prepositional phrase is emmanu, which is the phrase “with us.” The name is literally, “with us, God.” Jesus was God with us here on planet earth.
When you receive Him as your personal Savior, then He personally shares His life with you in your spirit. You have joined yourself to Him and become one spirit, together (I Cor 6:17). He moves from being God with us, to being God in us.
With that in mind, consider the wonder and power of His cry from the cross, “My God, My God, Why have You forsaken Me?” Has it dawned on you that the One who is crying out asking God why He has forsaken Him . . . is God. The Son of God is asking God the Father, “Why are you forsaking Me.” What a paradox. God became God-forsaken on the cross.
God-With-Us was on the cross becoming God-forsaken. The God Who is with us is asking the God in Heaven why He is not with Him. Have you ever felt in a dark moment in life —when all Hell appears to have broken out in your family, or when your circumstances have become so painful emotionally that you want to quit, curse or die— that you want to ask God the same thing? Why have you forsaken me?
At that moment, you are experiencing your cross. For the God who is with us, is living in your spirit. Could it be that He, living in you, is crying out again, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” If you are crying out from your spirit, then He Who is One with you in the spirit, is crying out with you.
He is your life, so He is in your cry. Jesus is in you, crying out those words with you. He is there with you, feeling just as far away and separated from God as you do. And you can find comfort in knowing that He’s been there, done that.
He said those words in our place on the cross, so He can say those words with us today when we go through dark days. And after the dark days back then, there was a resurrection. That means that even if you feel forsaken by God, The Son will be there with you . . . but the resurrection is coming. Sunday’s a coming, and you will never be forsaken!
To quote a Messianic Jewish author, “If God was with us even when He was separated from God, then there is nothing in this world or beyond, nothing in this age or in the ages to come, that will ever separate you from the love of God in Him who is the love of God . . . and who will always be with you.” (p. 349 in The Book of Mysteries).
All of this is because He is now your identity. He is your Life in your spirit. Be encouraged. Remember His name this Thanksgiving season.