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The Word on the Week

No Other Name

This blog starts with Easter Greetings in the shape of a little known paraphrase which captures an amazing amount of truth in its first stanza: –
The Saviour died, and rose again
triumphant o’er the grave;
and pleads our cause at God’s right hand,
omnipotent to save.

Jesus had done just that, healing physically and spiritually the crippled beggar, working through St Peter who evoked the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. The event, recorded in Acts Chapters 3 and 4, culminate in the authoritative assertion that “there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Chapter 4 verse 12).
St Peter was at pains to point out as he addressed the people that the power and authority did not come from him but he was simply the mouthpiece for the risen Jesus.
When he was arrested by the Authorities the same question was on their minds, “By what power or in what name did you do this?” (Chapter 3 verse 12).
They wanted to put a stop to the preaching of Jesus. They feared his power when he walked amongst them and they feared his authority exercised through his followers.

Not much has changed. In many parts of the world you can be arrested for preaching the Name of Jesus. Of course the name which means Saviour makes no sense in our ‘sinless’ society. They say if truth is different for each of us and there is no recognition of an overarching set of rules, what is there to be saved from? Yet today sin reigns – the proof is in the daily papers!

If we are to be faithful to scripture we need to mention the exclusivity of this salvation. The “No other Name” gives the sacrifice of Jesus infinite worth. “There was no other good enough to pay the price of sin” was how Dubliner, Cecil F Alexander put it in her hymn.
It wasn’t as if there were no other heroes of the faith. Their religion had a litany of them from Abraham onwards. None came close to Jesus.

Of course the uniqueness of Jesus is what makes the Gospel ring true. It is a theme which appears not only in Acts but the Gospels and St John’s letter. Those who hear the call and respond come by seeing their sins laid on Jesus their Saviour. There is no back door to heaven (St John Chapter 14 verse 6).