Jesus Victorious Name
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Jesus Victorious Name
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Jesus Conqueror ChristogramEarly Church Christograms were a combination of letters which formed abbreviations for the name of Jesus Christ. They often used the letters "IC" and "XC" in Greek for the name "Jesus Christ." "NIKA" was a Greek verb used in this particular Christogram which meant "conquers", or "conqueror" or even "is victorious." Thus "ICXC NIKA" meant "Jesus Christ conquers." In the Christian tradition today, we find the letters IC and XC in many church decorations, stained glass windows and on wooden icons of the person of Christ.

Eastern Orthodox Church

ICXC symbol"IC XC NIKA" is technically called "a prosphoron." These letters are so important they are stamped upon every loaf of altar bread in the Eastern Orthodox Church. In this way, Christians are invited to share in Holy Communion and be part of Jesus victorious name. Saint Paul refers to our victorious role as Christians in Romans 8.37, "We are more than conquerors through him who loved us."

Jesus Conqueror

Christogram on CoinJesus Christ's victory is over the works of the devil and Satan himself. Saint John was, therefore, able to say in 1 John 3.8, "The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil." Jesus is the victor!

Historical Jesus Christ

Mary Mother of JesusWhat did the historical conqueror Jesus Christ look like? What sort of person was the carpenter from Nazareth? The holy innocence, Jesus Christ, who was always one with the Father, came to personally dwell in a young woman perhaps a teenager (called a virgin) named Mary. Mary's name in the original manuscripts of the New Testament was based on her original Aramaic name "Maryam or Mariam," both of which appear in the New Testament. In the Orthodox Church, the three main titles for Mary used are "Theotokos" "God-bearer" or loosely "Mother of God," "Aeiparthenos" or "Ever-virgin" and "Panagia" or "All-holy." An angelic messenger tells Mary in Luke 1.35, "the Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God." Jesus, the child of Mary, was the very first personal body of Christ.

The Body of Christ

Body of ChristSaint Paul interchanges the term "body of Christ" in 1 Corinthians 12.12 with the name, "Christ." He wrote, "Just as a body, though one, has many parts, all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ." In his mind, the work and presence of the historical person Jesus is succeeded by the Body of Christ. When Jesus Christ ascended to the Heavens, the Body of Christ continued and today works on earth in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Historical Person

Jesus PictureWhat was Jesus like as a historical person? Was he lanky or smallish, smiling or glum? Does it even matter to us? Strangely, there is little in the New Testament of a physical description of the historical appearance of Jesus. Except for the birth narratives and the one story of the twelve-year-old Jesus lingering in the Temple, there is hardly anything of his childhood either. John the Baptist however traditionally described Jesus as "rather bald but with a thick, flowing beard." Saint James is alleged to have written that his brother Jesus was, "a young man whose beard was just beginning." Wikipedia writes, "As a Jew in 1st century Judea, Jesus probably looked like a typical Judean man of his time. Research on ancient skeletons in Israel suggests that Judeans of the time were biologically closer to Iraqi Jews than any other contemporary population, and thus in terms of physical appearance the average Judean of the time would have likely had dark brown to black hair, olive skin, and brown eyes. Judean men of the time were on average about 5 feet 5 inches in height. Scholars have also suggested that it is likely Jesus had short hair and a trim beard, following Jewish practices of the time." The earliest depictions of Jesus from the Roman catacombs depict him as free of facial hair. Who knows?

Personal Appearance

Head of ChristJesus personal appearance was not overly important to Early Church Christians because they were so concentrated on preaching the Gospel. The Early Church Fathers sometimes described as the "Christian Fathers" or the "Fathers of the Church" seemed to have little interest in Jesus personal appearance. One early Roman source came from a letter of dubious origin widely published in Italy in the fifteenth century from a certain Publius Lentulus in Rome to the Senate concerning Jesus. Publius was a Roman Consul during the reign of Augustus (BC 27-14 AD.)

Publius Lentulus

Publius described Jesus as "a medium-sized man, and comely with a very reverent countenance, his hair the color of chestnut, his hair parted in the midst like other Nazarenes, his beard thickish and his eyes gray." The letter is regarded as probably fake for no Governor of Jerusalem or Procurator of Judea is known to have been called Lentulus. However, the "Deeds of the Divine Augustus" lists a Publius Lentulus as being elected as a Roman Consul during the reign of Augustus (27 BC-14 AD). This description, therefore, is extremely doubtful as I suspect that Jesus disciples were was so completely immersed in the life and ministry of the new Faith that preoccupation with Jesus appearance would have taken away from the relevance of their gospel mission.

Like Him

Jesus Wall MuralJesus disciples aspired to be like him in works, personality, and character rather than in any other way. He was no ordinary human being anyway but God himself. The Body of Christ in Jesus rather than copying the person of Jesus was and is the primary inspirational model for the New Testament church and the church of today. Jesus himself is the source for our being at the beginning of the Twenty-First Century. This model, when rediscovered, will provide each of us personally with a clear and focused example for our own Christian lives to follow. Jesus, himself, is the archetype for our lives. We discover the universal purpose of Jesus life when we see his purpose as the Father did.

Jesus' Career

Two Chalices, Bible and GrapesWhen we view Jesus' career from a distance we discover his life was like a shapely chalice with a wide lip, narrow stem and broad base. In the cosmic realm, Jesus' life portrayed a progression from glory (at the chalice lip) to humility (at the stem) and from lowliness to majesty (at the base.) We see Jesus one way, maybe in our mind's eye as a likeness of him but God views him in another way altogether because of his divine mission.

Jesus God and Man

Malcolm MuggeridgeMalcolm Muggeridge (1903-1990) the renowned British journalist and the author put it this way, "Jesus, in the eyes of God, a man, and in the eyes of men, a God." At the Creation, Jesus had complete equality with God. He was and is divine in every respect. The crucial decision was made in Heaven that the Deity should take on a human being's appearance on earth as a man child, as a tiny helpless baby. Jesus volunteered. He laid his mantle of glory aside, left behind the worship of the angels, and underwent a self-metamorphosis into a helpless human baby. What a wonderful Savior is Jesus!

Super Male Sperm

Sperm and EggJesus personal name and its meaning placed him in the eternal realm. His earthly life produced the Body of Christ, the Church. The Holy Spirit transported Jesus as a super male sperm to the womb of a young teenaged girl called Mary with her permission to fertilize her egg. Taking the shape of a baby, Jesus astonished his Father and drew forth the ecstatic worship and praise of the multitudes of angels in being born as a human. From this humble beginning, relying utterly on his human stepfather Joseph, and his mother Mary, who gave him his name "Jesus" or "Jeshua" which is related to another Bible name "Joshua" in obedience to the angel, he set his eyes on his ultimate purpose and became obedient even to his death on a cross. He hung there like a common criminal, vulnerable, defeated or so it seemed.

Time and Eternity

Malcolm MuggeridgeMalcolm Muggeridge (1903-1990) in his book "Conversion" explained it this way, "At the intersection of time and eternity, nailed there, you confront us; a perpetual reminder that living, we die, and dying, we live. An incarnation wonderful to contemplate, the light of the world indeed." Then the ultimate switch took place. God the Father elevated him from the tomb. His natural body rose as a spiritual being in a newly transformed body. The Father acclaimed Jesus with supreme honor for Jesus' name was and is now above every other name. This was an amazing cosmic happening!

Jesus' Name

NapoleonNames are very important in life. An infantryman approached Napoleon Bonaparte, the great French general with the words, "I am pleased to meet you, Emperor Napoleon. You see, my name is the same as yours." Knowing of this man's bad reputation and very poor character, the Emperor was incensed and exclaimed, "You must either live up to your name or change it." God calls Christians to live up to Jesus' name. Philippians 2.7-11 told us that at Jesus name, "every knee shall bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord."

"Jesus Victorious Name"
by Ron Meacock © 2019

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