Lesson for the Lord’s Day

A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death than the day of one’s birth. Ecclesiastes 7:1

We read of ointment that was precious because of its ingredients, because of the wonderful fragrance that it gave. It brought delight to the nostrils and it brought comfort to that part of the body to which it was applied. This ointment brought both healing and pleasure. So too does the good name that we have assembled under today to worship.

A good name is important because it brings before our minds the good person to whom the name belongs. Some names are considered bad, not because of anything wrong with the name, but because the name is associated with a bad person. For example, few mothers name their little boys Judas or Adolph these days. Names are often given to children to carry on a good name of a favourite relative or friend. For example, my granddaughter Annie was given her name to commemorate the memory of dear Annie Haines of Fredericton, who was like a grandmother to my daughter. There is one name today that is so good and precious that It can assemble hundreds of thousands of Christians on the Lord’s Day in little companies in deepest reverence and humble obedience. The Name of Jesus is better than precious ointment to us as we remember Him today.

The meaning of the name Jesus is Saviour. What a lovely meaning! We were all lost and in desperate need of a saviour, and He was willing to become identified with us and become our Saviour. The meaning of His Name is sweet to our souls as we consider that we are saved. We have been given everlasting life and have been assured that the punishment for our sins has been totally taken over by our Saviour.

But there is also the vast store of significance to the Name, based on the One who bore that Name. Just as the name Henry reminds me of how my dear old Uncle Henry Cole handled the road grader when I was a boy, so too the name of Jesus reminds me of how my Saviour came to die for me, shed His blood for me, suffer for my sins.

The Name of Jesus is sweeter and more precious today to us than any ointment. – Jim MacIntosh

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