The Trusting Entrusting Christ :: Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit

Each of the seven sayings from the Cross gives us a glimpse into the nature of Jesus Christ. In the seventh saying, Jesus addresses his Father God and commends his spirit into his hands. To commend is to commit or handover or entrust showing us that Jesus is the Trusting Entrusting Christ.

Centuries earlier, the Psalmist prophetically recorded this same phrase “Into thy hands, I commit my spirit” (Psalm 31:5) before expressing his trust in the LORD God of truth, who had redeemed him and Jesus’ final words from the Cross was a fulfillment of this prophecy.

Jesus had told his disciples, while they were in Galilee, that he would be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified and on the third day he would rise from the dead (Luke 24:6-7). He now diverts our attention to God the Father, into whose hands he commits his spirit, trusting that God would raise him from the dead (Acts 2:24). The hand of God is the most secure place one can be, for no one can pluck you out of the Jesus’ hand (John 10:28) or his Father’s hand (John 10:29).

Points to ponder:
Are you trusting in the LORD God of truth that he can resurrect the dead aspects of your life? Are you entrusting your life into the safe and secure hand of God?

Luke 23:45-47 (KJV)
45 And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.
46 And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.
47 Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man.

Psalm 31:1-5 (KJV)
1 In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness.
Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock, for an house of defence to save me.
For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me.
Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily for me: for thou art my strength.
Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.

John 10:27-30 (KJV)
27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
30 I and my Father are one.

The Ransoming Christ :: It is Finished

Each of the seven sayings from the Cross gives us a glimpse into the nature of Jesus Christ. In the sixth saying, Jesus shows us that he is the Ransoming Christ. The sixth saying from the cross was “It is finished” which comes from the Greek word τετέλεσται (Tetelastai) meaning “Paid in full”.

All the prophecies of the Old Testament – The Seed of the woman (Genesis 3:15), The Passover Lamb of God (Exodus 12:3-14), The suffering Servant of the Lord (Isaiah 53), the Shepherd who would be stricken (Zechariah 3:17), and The Pierced Firstborn Son (Zechariah 12:10), the Messenger of the Covenant (Malachi 3:1) and many more were all fulfilled and finished in the Person of Jesus Christ.

The will of God the Father is to redeem mankind which Jesus came into their world to do (John 6:38) and to give his life as a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28). This ransoming work was finished on the Cross (John 19:30). The world owed a debt to God because God’s just law required that the soul that sins should die (Ezekiel 18:20) and all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23). The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23) and death is the power of the devil (Hebrews 2:14) which means the world just-fully deserved the death penalty. But Jesus, being sinless (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 1:18-19), did not deserve to die, and so when he was crucified, the power of death that the devil had over sinful man was disempowered (Hebrews 2:14) and the debt of death that mankind owed was paid in full by the sinless ransoming Son of God. The power of the devil is finished because Jesus is the Ransoming Christ.

Points to ponder:
Imagine for a moment that someone whom you dearly love is kidnapped by a bad person and that evil doer sends you a ransom note, threatening to kill your loved one if you do not pay the ransom. We would do everything we can to pay the ransom in full so that we can rescue our loved one from that evil person. We would do that only for the person we love. If the person who is kidnapped is not someone we know or love, then we would not pay the ransom. In other words, we ransom only whom we love. What this means is that the ransoming act of Jesus Christ on the Cross is indicative of God’s everlasting great love toward mankind (Jeremiah 31:3). Had Jesus not cared for loved us, then the ransoming Christ would not have had to finish his work and declare his payment in full, on the Cross.

Jesus is the ransoming Christ. He ransomed our souls from death by his death, because he loved us. He died to pay our ransom so that we can be free (John 8:32, 36) and live with liberty (Galatians 5:1,13). As a free man or woman, are you willing to finish the work of reconciling others (2 Corinthians 5:18-20) to the great and loving God by telling them of the ransoming Christ?

John 19:30 (KJV)
30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

Matthew 20:28 (KJV)
28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

Hebrews 2:14-15 (NLT)
14 Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death.
15 Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.

The Yearning Christ :: I thirst

Each of the seven sayings from the Cross gives us a glimpse into the nature of Jesus Christ. In the fifth saying, Jesus shows us that he is the Yearning Christ when he said, “I thirst”.

While this saying can be studied to understand and express the humanity of Jesus, which makes it possible for God to empathize with us (Hebrews 4:15), for Jesus, like each one of us, felt weary (John 4:6), sleepy (Mark 4:38), hungry (Matthew 4:2), and expressed human emotions such as grief by his weeping (John 11:35; Luke 19:41) and sorrow (Mark 14:34; Matthew 26:38), closer reading of this Bible scripture reveals to us that this saying was a fulfillment of prophecy. A prophecy that particularly references to messianic Psalms, which king David records in Psalm 22 and Psalm 69. Psalm 22:15 states that the Messiah’s strength would be dried up like sunbaked clay and his tongue would stick to the roof of his mouth, as one would experience in extreme dehydration and thirst. Psalm 69:3 records how the Messiah’s throat will be dried and Psalm 69:21 records how he will be offered gall and vinegar to drink, which was fulfilled on the Cross (Matthew 27:34), further establishing that Jesus is the Messiah who was prophesied in the scripture.

Knowing that all things were now accomplished (John 19:28), it would have been apt for Jesus to have said “It is finished” (John 19:30), but instead, he did not want any scripture to go unfulfilled and so he aptly said “I thirst”.

When he was offered vinegar mixed with gall to quench his thirst, Jesus refused to take it (Matthew 27:34), which further establishes that it was not necessarily his physical thirst that he was interested in satisfying but his spiritual thirst. Hours ago, in deep anguish, alone in the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus had cried out, asking for the cup of God’s justice to be passed from him, but as the obedient Son of God and Savior of all man, he willingly accepted to drink the cup of God’s justice (Mark 14:36; Matthew 26:39) by submitting to the will of God (Isaiah 53:10). And now here on the Cross, he expresses that after knowing that he had accomplished all things, he was thirsty and yearning to drink from the cup of God, to the dregs.

Points to ponder:

Jesus yearns to fulfill the scripture and to fulfill the will of God.  Jesus is the yearning Christ.
The wearied Savior offers to all who come to him that they shall find rest; eternal rest (Matthew 11:28-29) and those who are hungry and thirsty shall hunger and thirst no more i.e., they will be eternally satisfied (John 6:35), for the water he gives will be in that person a well of water springing unto everlasting life (John 4:14).

Have you drunk of the water Jesus gives? Is your spiritual thirst quenched? In other words, have you come to Jesus and believed in him? And if you have been spiritually quenched, like Jesus, are you and I yearning for doing and finishing God’s will? Can you, like the Savior, Lord and Messiah, Jesus, say “I thirst”?

John 19:28 (KJV)
28 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.

The Forsaken Fulfilling Christ :: Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?

Each of the seven sayings from the Cross gives us a glimpse into the nature of Jesus Christ. In the fourth saying, Jesus, diverts the attention of the hearer to a question, actually a cry of anguish, between him and God his Father. He cried out with a loud voice, saying Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which when interpreted means “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? This question reflects that Jesus is the forsaken Christ.

Not only is Jesus the forsaken Christ, but he is the fulfilling Christ as well. Centuries earlier, David, the king of Israel, had prophetically expressed this in a song, talking about the Messiah, who will be forsaken by God (Psalm 22:1-2), scorned and mocked (Psalm 22:7), who will be poured out as water (Psalm 22:14; John 19:34), whose hands and feet will be pierced (Psalm 22:16), who will thirst (Psalm 22; John 19:28), who will be stripped naked and his garments will be parted (Psalm 22:18), and who will not despise nor abhor the affliction of the afflicted (Psalm 22:24) accepting the will of God (Matthew 26:39, 42) and take on our affliction upon himself (1 Peter 2:24), who would cry out to the God (Psalm 22:24), who will bring about everlasting life (Psalm 22:26; John 3:16), and whose kingdom of righteousness will be established henceforth (Psalm 22:27-31). Jesus being forsaken and crying out his Father is a fulfillment of the messianic prophecy, sung by David. Jesus is the fulfilling Messiah.

The Savior, Jesus Christ, who had promised his disciples that he would never forsake them (Hebrews 13:5) was now forsaken. This question can be attributed to the fact that God the Father, the One and only Holy God (1 Samuel 2:2) can have no communion with unrighteousness as light cannot have any communion with darkness (2 Corinthians 6:14). When light shines darkness dispels – darkness cannot coexist with light – they are mutually exclusive. All unrighteousness is sin (1 John 5:17; 1 John 1:9). And Jesus, who knew no sin had become sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21) which severed the communion he had with God, his Holy Father (John 17:11), who hates sin (Proverbs 6:16-19). The wages and end result of sin is death (Romans 6:23; James 1:15) and God created man to be a living soul (Genesis 2:7), not a dead being. So Jesus’ emotion being forsaken is indeed a reflection of his and his Father’s love for us –  a love so great – that God felt justified to forsake his own son, so he would not have to forsake us (Romans 5:8). God forsook God so he would not have to forsake us. 

This further accentuates that God hates sin, but not the sinner. We are not sinners because we sin. Instead, we sin because we are sinners – having inherited the sinful nature, because of our forefather Adam’s willful disobedience and sin (Romans 5:14). In order to denature our sin nature and create in us a clean heart (Psalm 51:10), a heart that can live forever (Psalm 22:26), and make us a new righteous creation (2 Corinthians 5:17, 21), Jesus had to denature his Holiness and was made sin (2 Corinthians 5:21) and be forsaken from his Father.

Points to ponder:

Jesus is the forsaken and fulfilling Christ. He is the Messiah – the one and only Messiah.
Had Jesus not have the need to cry out, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? then the world today would be crying out that same question – “My God, my God why have you forsaken me?”
You and I are not forsaken by God! and Jesus has promised that he will never leave us not forsake us.

Mark 15:34 (KJV)
34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Psalm 22:1-2 (KJV)
1 My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?
O my God, I cry in the day time, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.

The Relationship Building Christ :: Woman, behold thy Son! … Behold thy mother!

Each of the seven sayings from the Cross gives us a glimpse into the nature of Jesus Christ. In the third saying, Jesus, looks at his earthly mother, Mary, standing at the foot of the Cross, and the other disciple whom he loved and tells them to look at one another, before telling Mary that the disciple is her son and telling the disciple that Mary is his mother. In doing so, we see Jesus Christ – the Relationship Builder.

While the nails had pierced Jesus’ hands and feet, as Jesus was crucified, the prophecy of Simeon to Mary that a sword would pierce her heart was being fulfilled (Luke 2:35).

And amidst this anguish, Jesus’ focus was on relationships – family relationships. Though he was the heavenly Son of God, the only begotten Son of God (John 3:16), he fulfilled his earthly duties as a son who honors his mother and makes provision for her care, for his time had come to leave the world that he came to and return to God his Father (John 16:28). He chose his most loved disciple and delegates a relationship responsibility. The time had come for new relationships to be established and ratified.

Points to ponder:
What is interesting to note is that, this Saying “Woman, behold thy son!” and to the disciple “Behold thy mother!” could have been said anytime other than when Jesus was hanging on the Cross. He could have made this relationship arrangement during one of the times that his disciples met him when he was with his mother or at the wedding at Cana where he performed his first miracle of turning water to wine. Yet Jesus waited for the Cross – for his time to come. This teaches us that it is only by the Cross of Christ that new relationships are forged and formed.

Because Jesus, the son of God was lifted up on the Cross, he lifts many of us as sons (and daughters) into glory (John 3:14-15; John 12:32-33; Hebrews 2:10). The cross makes it possible for a new relationship (a new creation) because Jesus, the relationship building Christ and creator of the world took our place on it (Hebrews 2:9).

When you believes in Jesus, his death and his resurrection, you are made a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) and a new relationship with God as God’s children commences. Are your a child of God? Are you related to God?

And if we are related to God, let us not forget to do our earthly duties as Jesus did. The world is hurting with broken relationships. There is unrest within families, hatred amongst kin, violence, wars between countries, wickedness, and evil and the world is in a state of anguish so much so that creation itself is groaning (Romans 8:22). It is in this world that God wants us to be relationship builders like he was. We need to take up our Cross, follow Jesus and tell others to look at him (to behold him) and be reconciled with God first and to love other as themselves. Are we relationship builders as Jesus – the relationship builder is?

John 19:26-27 (KJV)
26 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!
27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.

Luke 2:34-35 (KJV)
34 And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;
35 (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.

John 3:14-16 (KJV)
14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 12:32-33 (KJV)
32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
33 This he said, signifying what death he should die.

Hebrews 2:9-10 (KJV)
But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV)
17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

The Assuring Christ :: Today shalt thou be with me in paradise

Each of the seven sayings from the Cross gives us a glimpse into the nature of Jesus Christ. In the second saying, when Jesus, tells the malefactor (criminal) who had acknowledged and addressed Jesus as Lord and King (Luke 23:42), that he will be with Jesus in paradise that day, we see Jesus Christ – the Assurer of his presence in paradise.

The prophet Isaiah had prophesied of the assuring Christ centuries earlier, when he recorded that Jesus would be numbered with the transgressors (Isaiah 53:12). On the Cross, we see condemned like the other malefactors (Luke 23:39-40), this prophetic saying comes true.

Points to ponder:
Amidst this condemnation that Christ suffered, as a criminal, though he had committed no crime, Jesus speaks words of eternal life (John 6:68), words of assurance – a blessed assurance, that the one who is condemned in the eyes of man is not condemned in the eyes of God, because he who had recognized Jesus a good man, having done nothing wrong (Luke 23:41), realized and recognized that Jesus the good man was indeed God-man and that Jesus was Lord and King, who will come again in his kingdom (Luke 23:42). The criminal’s request was to be remembered for he said “Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom”, but Christ Jesus responded in a manner of speaking, that there would be no need for remembrance, because that criminal was going to be with Christ that very day.

Notice how, Jesus did not condemn or remind him of the criminal’s sinful past, which by earthly standards deserved excruciating death. Instead, Jesus focused on the criminal’s saintly future – a future with Christ himself. This gives hope – hope to the vilest of sinners (of whom I am chief) and does not preclude anyone out of the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. The criminal died that day, yet he lived for whoever believes in Jesus, though he shall die, yet shall he live (John 11:25-26).

Also note, how the criminal’s request talks about “Jesus’ kingdom” not the kingdom of man. Jesus taught his disciples to pray for God’s kingdom to come on earth. Yet many a times, we in our human fallibilities and carnal desires seek to establish our own kingdoms. Like the criminal, we must ask for God’s kingdom to come and not our own. His will, not our will be done.

And to all, who like the criminal, recognize Jesus, not solely as a good man, but as God-man, the only man in whom the fullness of God dwells (Colossians 1:19), as the Lord and as a King whose kingdom will come, Jesus is the assuring Christ with whom we shall all be, in paradise.

Is Jesus The Assuring Christ to you? In other words, have you believed in him and accepted him as Lord and King of your life?

Luke 23:39-43 (KJV)
39 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.
40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?
41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.
42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.
43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.

Isaiah 53:12 (KJV)
12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

John 11:25-26 (KJV)
25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

The Interceding Christ :: Father, Forgive them for they know not

Each of the seven sayings from the Cross gives us a glimpse into the nature of Jesus Christ. In the first saying, when Jesus, despite his anguish, prays for the forgiveness of those who had transgressed against him, by requesting his Father to forgive them for they did not know what they did, we see Jesus Christ – the Interceder – between God and man.

The prophet Isaiah had prophesied of the interceding Christ centuries earlier, when he recorded that Jesus’ soul would be poured out unto death and that he would be numbered with the transgressors, bearing the sin of many, and making intercession for the transgressors (Isaiah 53:12). On the Cross, this prophetic saying comes true.

Points to ponder:
Not only is Jesus the interceding Christ on the Cross, but after the Cross, upon his death and victorious resurrection, he is still the interceding Christ in heaven, making intercession for man with God, as the One mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5).

And as followers of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 5:1), we must also be intercessors – standing the gap (Ezekiel 22:30) – as ambassadors of Jesus Christ, beseeching man to be reconciled with God. (2 Corinthians 5:20). Jesus Christ, the interceder gave us the model of intercession. Are you and I an intercessor for God?

Luke 23:34 (KJV)
34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

Isaiah 53:12 (KJV)
12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

1 Timothy 2:5 (KJV)
For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

The Peniel problem solved

Jacob calls the place where he wrestled a man, Peniel, because he says that I have seen God face to face and my life is preserved (spared). Who is this man and why is Jacob referring to him as God?

The man who wrestled with Jacob refers to himself as God (Genesis 32:28) and Jacob affirms that he has seen God face to face (Genesis 32:30). The prophet Hosea refers to this mysterious man as an angel and reveals to us that he is the Lord of heaven’s armies and the Lord is his name (Hosea 2:4-5). The man who wrestled with Jacob was the Angel of the Lord, the pre-incarnate Christ (Theophany to Jacob) who had also appeared as the angel of the Lord to Hagar (Genesis 16:7-13).

So though Jacob is correct in his expression that he has seen God face to face and his life was spared to give us this account,  this may seem to contradict other portions of the scripture for the Bible teaches us that one cannot see God’s face, for anyone who does will not live (Exodus 33:20). Additionally the book of John asserts that no one has ever seen God except the Lord Jesus (John 1:18). This is the Peniel problem and how is this solved?

The answer is the book of Exodus where it is recorded that the LORD spoke with Moses, face to face, as a man speaks with his friend (Exodus 33:11). The latter part of this verse “as a man speaks with his friend” is crucial. God appeared to Jacob as a man, for Jacob wrestled a man (Genesis 32:24). Therefore, Jacob and Moses’ seeing of God face to face is to state that they saw him as a man sees another – in close relationship – as a friend would commune with another.

Points to ponder:
For fallen man to see the one and only Holy God in his fullness and glory, would consume man, for God is a consuming fire (Deuteronomy 4:24; Hebrews 12:29), but man has seen God veiled in the flesh – in the person of Jesus Christ (John 1:1, 14). The fullness of God is in Jesus Christ (Colossians 2:9), and Jesus affirms that he and the Father (God) are one (John 10:30) and whoever has seen him have seen God the father (John 14:9). The full glory of God is in the face of the man Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 2:5; 2 Corinthians 4:6).

The Bible teaches us that “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). It also asserts that there is no one righteous, no not one (Romans 3:10), and the eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him (2 Chronicles 16:9). A fully committed heart is a heart that loves God over everyone and everything else and one that loves others. The heart has to be purified of all of the evil things that come from it, which defile a man (Matthew 15:19-20). Only by believing in Jesus Christ, can the heart be purified for believing in Jesus Christ imputes the righteousness of God in us (Romans 4:19-25). As David prayed, let us also pray “Create in me a clean heart and renew a right Spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10).

In Jesus Christ alone, is the Peniel problem solved.

Points to ponder:

Jesus is the face of God. He who has seen me has seen God.

Genesis 32:30-32 (KJV)
30 And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.
31 And as he passed over Penuel the sun rose upon him, and he halted upon his thigh.
32 Therefore the children of Israel eat not of the sinew which shrank, which is upon the hollow of the thigh, unto this day: because he touched the hollow of Jacob’s thigh in the sinew that shrank.

What is your Name? Who are you?

When Jacob wrestled with God (Genesis 32:30, 32, Hosea 12:4-5), he clung on to God and would not let go of him unless he was blessed. To this, God responds and asks for his name. God asked “What is thy name?” Jacob answered the question and said that his name was “Jacob” which means supplanter or deceiver. To this God replied and rechristens Jacob saying that “you will no longer be called Jacob, but instead you shall be called Israel, for as a prince you have power with (not over) God and with man and have prevailed”. To this Jacob asks God, what is your name. I pray that you tell me your name. Instead of answering that questions as God did, by saying that he is the “I AM”, when Moses asked the same question, God counter-questions him asking “Why do you ask for my name?” and then proceeds to bless Israel there.

From this account, we can learn a few things.
God wants us to acknowledge who we are. The omniscience of God would not have required him to ask for Jacob’s name, yet he did. Until then, Jacob, the deceiver had fooled his father by telling him that he was Esau, to rob Esau of his blessings. Now, he was in a predicament where he could not lie to God, the Father of all (Ephesians 4:6), and he acknowledges and accepts who he is (a deceiver), that he is Jacob. So the first thing God does is not remind Jacob of who he is, but instead rechristens him and gives him a new name, likening him to be a prince. Other scriptures substantiate the rechristening act of God. Abram was rechristened Abraham, Sarai became Sarah, Saul was rechristened as Paul and when Simon recognized that Jesus was indeed the son of God he was rechristened as Peter (“Rock”). Additionally, we learn that right after God rechristened Jacob to be Israel, he blesses him. In other words, blessings succeeds rebirth/rechristening.

Points to ponder:
When we accept our sinful state before God, the Father, and confess of our unworthiness of his mercy as Jacob did (Genesis 32:10), he gives us another name (Isaiah 65:15), a new name (Rev 2:17), one better than that of sons and daughters (of men) that is everlasting (Isaiah 56:5), as children of God (1 John 3:1), one that is designated by God himself (Isaiah 62:2), As children of God, the King of kings and the Lord of lords, we are prince and princesses. God’s  name (Rev 3:12). God’s name is I AM (Exodus 3:14) and Jesus said before Abraham was, I AM (John 8:58). Jesus is God and the Lord is his name (Hosea 12:4-5).

Before man had sinned, blessings preceded naming (Genesis 5:1-2). Now in the fallen state of man, because of man’s sin and disobedience, blessings follows rebirth, that happen when one acknowledges their sinful state and accepts the Lord Jesus (),

So the question that demands an answer now is Are you rechristened by God? What is your name? Who are you?

Genesis 32:27-29 (KJV)
27 And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob.
28 And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.
29 And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there.

Clinging on to God; Will not let go

After Jacob had sent presents ahead of him with his servants, with the hope of appeasing his brother, he himself stayed the night in the camp. However, he could not sleep and so rose up that night and took his two wives, his womenservants and his eleven sons and sent them over the Jabook ford. And when he was left alone, a man wrestled him until the break of dawn. When the man saw the Jacob was strong and dominating, the man touched his thigh’s socket and got it out of joint as he wrestled with Jacob. But Jacob clung on and would not let go of the man. When the day was about to break, the man said “Let me go” to which Jacob responded “I will not let you go, unless you bless me.” (Genesis 32:21-26)

Points to ponder:
Like Jacob, when we are unable to rest (sleep), lonely, in dark times (before the break of day), we must cling on to Jesus Christ, and seek his blessings and never let go. Are you clinging on to God?

Genesis 32:21-26 (KJV)
21 So went the present over before him: and himself lodged that night in the company.
22 And he rose up that night, and took his two wives, and his two womenservants, and his eleven sons, and passed over the ford Jabbok.
23 And he took them, and sent them over the brook, and sent over that he had.
24 And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.
25 And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him.
26 And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.