|artwork by Krista Hamrick|
It has been so energizing and exciting to participate in #Write31days, an online writing challenge where writers pick one topic and write a post on that topic every day in the month of October. Within the #Write31days category of Inspiration & Faith, I chose to focus on the topic of the Name Above All Names every day for 31 days. You can view each of my daily posts at this landing page.
Krista Hamrick’s beautiful original art print, Name Above All Names Alphabet, has so inspired me. Each of the 26 individual Names she has identified are so special, as Krista has intricately painted, almost like stained glass windows, each one with its Scripture reference.
I was inspired by Chris Tomlin’s anointed hymn, Exalted, while studying Acts 5:30, 31…
Amplified: The God of our forefathers raised up Jesus, Whom you killed by hanging Him on a tree (cross). God exalted Him to His right hand to be Prince and Leader and Savior and Deliverer and Preserver, in order to grant repentance to Israel and to bestow forgiveness and release from sins.
Expanded: You killed [murdered] Jesus by hanging him on a cross [ tree]. But God, the God of our ancestors, raised Jesus up from the dead! Jesus is the One whom God raised [exalted] to be on his right side [hand], as Leader [Prince; Ruler] and Savior. Through him, the people of Israel [ Israel] could ·change their hearts and lives [repent] and have their sins forgiven.
J. B. Phillips: It was the God of our fathers who raised up Jesus, whom you murdered by hanging him on a cross of wood. God has raised this man to his own right hand as prince and savior, to bring repentance and the forgiveness of sins to Israel.
Young’s Literal: and the God of our fathers did raise up Jesus, whom ye slew, having hanged upon a tree; this one God, a Prince and a Savior, hath exalted with His right hand, to give reformation to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.
Pastor John MacArthur writes: "The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom ye slew and hanged on a tree." Peter got right back in that Sanhedrin and said, "Right. That's exactly what you did, you slew Him and hanged Him on a tree." The one that God raised up as your Messiah, you hanged on a tree. That word slew is an interesting word that's used only one other time in the New Testament, very unusual word. It means to murder with your own hands. So he says, "You not only slew Him but you hanged Him on a tree." Why does he say that? Well He was crucified. He could have said that, but to say hanged on a tree ties it in with Deuteronomy 21:23. The Old Testament said, "Cursed is anybody who hangs on a tree." That was the most shameful, despicable, cursed death a man could die, and they chose that one for the Son of God. After indictment there is always exaltation of Christ as Messiah, verse 31. "Him hath God exalted with His right hand." Right hand means power. God by power ripped Christ out of the grave and exalted Him and made Him a Prince and a Savior. Now you thought He was nothing. You thought He was something to be trampled, but God lifted Him up and made Him better than a Prince. The Greek word is Archegos, which means King, Pioneer. It's got so many meanings…Creator, Originator, Author. All of those words, Archegos, has so many concepts. Peter was a fisherman. Maybe one concept that we haven't talked about that Peter may have had in mind is this: on each ship there was a strong swimmer, who was called the Archegos. Whenever the ship got into trouble, his job was with a rope around his waist to dive in, swim to shore, secure the rope and then everybody else could get to shore on the rope. But the Archegos, was the guy who had to make his way there and secure the rope. He says Jesus Christ is the one who having been killed on this earth when the ship wrecked God lifted Him up, took Him to heaven, He left the rope there and all of us are able to reach it on the basis of His provision. And so Jesus Christ is the Archegos—the strong swimmer who secured the anchor to God and then the Savior who gathers us and takes us into God's presence. At the end of verse 31, "He offered you repentance and forgiveness and beloved there's no forgiveness for a man apart from repentance. That's the missing ingredient so much in the message of salvation. People always talk about salvation and they leave out repentance. That doesn't mean you become sinless. That means you're sorry for your sin and you say, "God help me and make me different." Forgive me, and He does. He is Prince and Savior.”
Pastor John Piper writes: "The Foundational Facts of Christianity from Peter's message here in Acts 5:30, 31…
Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is high and holy, the glorious, exalted One. He reigns over all in heaven and on earth. Our Savior needs no house, for His dwelling place is all eternity. And yet He chooses to dwell with—literally to abide and make his home in—those who are anything but “high and holy” and who know it. Rather they are those whose spirits are humble, contrite, open, and teachable. They know how unworthy they are of God’s love and mercy. But God’s holy and loving heart is moved by individuals who humble themselves and acknowledge their weakness and dependence on him. Then He refreshes, revives, and gives new courage to these repentant souls. How gracious our God is!
Look Up—meditate on Acts 5:30, 31 pray to see what it reveals about the character of God.
Look In—as you meditate on Acts 5:30, 31 pray to see how you might apply it to your life. Be propelled to ask galvanizing questions about your discoveries: "Because God is_________, I will_____________."
Look Out—as you meditate on Acts 5:30, 31 pray to see how you might apply it to your relationships with others. Let the nature of God impact on every relationship, for your good, and for His glory.
* If you liked this post you’ll love this book – Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ