“A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold” (Proverbs 22:1) Some men would die to maintain their name, reputation or family reputation. In some ways it’s like branding, being set apart. It’s so important for companies to maintain their brand. It keeps their customers happy and confident. There are some brands I stick with because I know they never disappoint. This goes for restaurants, food in the supermarket, clothing and the list goes on.
If something goes wrong, good companies are quick to apologize and often find ways to make up so the customers remain loyal not just for the quality of product now but the quality of service.
As I thought about the importance of branding goods and services, my mind also reflected on a family name. Sometimes a name will open doors for you. Many people have experienced the power of a name. We call it a reference today.
The name above all names
Over two thousand years ago a man built a name. He was without fault and without any guile. A very upstanding man from very humble beginnings, he did many miracles, and he sought only to please his father. He raised the dead; he healed the sick. He performed many miracles. He gave the beatitude, and he fed the multitudes. He came to save the people from their sins. He was the son of God, and his name is Jesus.
He was constantly faced with great opposition. Men often sought after him, posing many questions so he would speak out of turn. They needed a reason to have him prosecuted and killed.
In the face of the staunch opposition he faced from the Pharisees and Sadducees, he held fast to his purpose to save mankind, who would soon have him crucified.
Amazing to be betrayed, criticized, lied on and crucified. To be called a blasphemer and Beelzebub, these were very strong words especially in an orthodox Jewish arena.
It’s humbling to think how he endured the contradictions of sinners against himself. It’s humbling when you meditate on the fact that he endured the cross, and what came with the cross was humiliation.
To be spat upon, to be given vinegar to drink, to have your garments torn to pieces, to have a crown of thorns placed on your head. All these humiliations he endured for you and I while we were yet sinners.
Standing in faith
Jesus stood in his faith. He was able to stand because he was first able to kneel. We see him kneel before his father and pray. He prayed, he cried, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:39, NIV).
This prayer to his father prepared him as he emptied himself before his father. His humanity cried to the supernatural God who is able to bestow strength upon him to face what was to come. His faith stood the test of fire.
How will our faith stand? We must, like Jesus, pray to our Heavenly Father. We must seek his strength and his wisdom. We will face fire; we will go through storms because in spite of who Jesus was, it pleased the Lord to bruise him.
Sometimes we face fire on our jobs, in our communities. We face fire in our country and even in our homes. Our faith, our beliefs, our knowing God is real must stand.
We must ensure our cross especially in these days where societies the world over increasingly move away from the word of God.
Whenever you are mocked or jeered, ridiculed, or criticized for your position as a child of God, don’t let go, do not give in, instead you should “consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” (Hebrews 12:3).
He endured the cross, the shame, the pain, the agony of being brutally beaten, the excruciating pain of being nailed hands and feet, the gruesome pain of having a sword pierce through your side and watching your blood and water gush out.
Placed between two thieves is enough to lose your name and reputation as you die in shame. As you bled, some wondered maybe you were wrong, maybe you in fact blasphemed. What’s left of your life is suddenly between those who have doubt after seeing your suffering and those who still hold faith in you.
How easy is it to let go or to quit. Your humanity has every right and worst you’re betrayed by those you love and defended. You’re being mocked and jeered by those you gave bread, by those whose lives were forever changed because of your gift or your ministry to them.
This the author of the script knew he would suffer and die. He knew that he had the power over death. He knew he was a conqueror. He knew that many lives were depending on him. He knew he had to obey the will of his father.
In periods of suffering and pain, we cannot depend on our feelings to carry us through. It’s our faith; it’s in knowing that your Heavenly Father is watching over you, knowing that he has made you an overcomer, knowing that our last enemy, death will be destroyed. It’s knowing you were born for this as much as Jesus was born to die.
Carone Gordon proud mom or three children, wife and co-pastor alongside her husband at the Awe Center Ministries.