Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A new name...

As men became Emperor's of Rome, it was understood that they assumed a new name. A name they considered to be holy, to elevate themselves. When Octavian conquered Egypt and defeated Mark Antony and Cleopatra he changed his name to Caesar Augustus. Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (yeah that was his whole name) struggled with the desire to change his name to Romulus who was believed to have founded Rome and was a deity to the Roman people. Fearing a revolt he stayed with Claudius.

These people governed during the time that Jerusalem was controlled by Rome. Christ would have been aware of the customary name changes. He told us that when we reign with him he will write upon our foreheads a new name. A Holy name. A name that is fitting our new status, as we become transformed to his image, we will have a new name. He was letting the oppressed know that when he is King on this earth, they will serve with him and the lowly nature they were doomed to live in would not be forever. What a wonderful promise. I never understood the significance of it until I learned how impressive it must have been to the early church. Forced to live under the rule of ego-maniacal perverts who claimed to be gods in their own right....they were given a promise of a higher status in a kingdom that would never end. What a wonderful thought!