ACTS 3:13-16: “The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our ancestors, has glorified his servant Jesus, whom you handed over and denied before Pilate, though he had decided to release him. You denied the Holy and Righteous One and asked to have a murderer released to you. You killed the source of life, whom God raised from the dead; we are witnesses of this. By faith in his name, his name has made this man strong, whom you see and know. So the faith that comes through Jesus has given him this perfect health in front of all of you.” CSB
OBSERVATION: There is power in only one name – the name of Jesus! Have you ever wondered why the name of Jesus causes such a stir in the public forum? Our culture embraces the customs and practices of all other religions in the spirit of tolerance. Yet, say the name of Jesus and everything changes.
Several years back there was a debate in my home town regarding whether the City Council meetings should start with prayer. At that time they neither prayed nor said the pledge of allegiance. The reason for this is that they did not want to offend anyone. They had received an angry complaint from one citizen, and fear of litigation was the reason for this policy. The local ministerial alliance gathered together and challenged this position in public meetings. At a meeting where the vote was to be taken, one of the largest groups gathered before the council. Because of this turnout, the council approved both prayer and the pledge before city meetings.
I was asked to bring the opening prayer for one of the meetings that took place on September 11. I spent time in prayer asking for the Lord’s guidance on praying both for the meeting and in remembrance of the solemn day when over 3000 Americans lost their lives. I wrote a very thoughtful prayer for this occasion and ended the prayer with the words – “In the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. Amen.” I was not prepared for what would happen next.
The head of the ministerial alliance received a call from the City Council. We were asked not to pray in the name of Jesus. It was as if they had only heard these words in my entire prayer, and these words set off a firestorm. At the next ministerial alliance meeting we discussed this again. Some were willing to acquiesce. However, I stood up, as did others, noting that as Christian ministers we could not simply pray to a generic god. We could only pray to the God of all creation – in the name of Jesus! We went back to the City Council with this statement, and now every council meeting begins with prayer – in the name of Jesus!
- “But after he (Joseph) had considered these things, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what has been conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:20-21 CSB
Jesus means – “Jehovah saves.” This name by itself would have no power if it were just the name of a man. Peter, in Acts 3, tells the audience that had gathered in the Temple, why this name has such power. It was because Jesus was the Son of God, the Messiah. Even though they had rejected Him, even though they had crucified Him, God raised Him from the dead. The empty tomb is the reason there is power in the name of Jesus. The empty tomb is the reason that there is life only in the name of Jesus. It is the power of His life that gives power to His name!
This morning is Easter Sunday morning. It is the most holy day in the Christian calendar. It is “The Day” as declared in Psalm 118:22-24.
- “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This came from the Lord; it is wondrous in our sight. This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalms 118:22-24 CSB
Resurrection Day is the day the Lord has made. It is a day for us to rejoice and be glad. It is the day when all the promises of God find their yes and amen in Christ Jesus. It is the day when the sting of death was broken. It is the day when His name was lifted higher than any other name. It is the day when the rock that was rejected by men was made the Chief Cornerstone by God! It is Resurrection Day!
- “This Jesus is the stone rejected by you builders, which has become the cornerstone. There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:11-12 CSB
The tomb is empty! Jesus is alive! And to all who call upon His name in faith there is salvation from sin and death. His name brings salvation, healing, and restoration. His name is powerful because He is Lord! There is only one empty tomb, and it belongs to Jesus. Its door is open wide, inviting all who will to enter into its provision.
- “For this reason God highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow — in heaven and on earth and under the earth — and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11 CSB
On this Easter Sunday morning, will you enter in, through faith in His name?
In Jesus Name!