Names of God

I will raise unto David a righteous Branch… and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS – Jeremiah 23:5-6

Jesus Christ perfectly kept the law, from beginning to end. When Moses recorded the first five books of the Bible, then, he was not so much laying down the law as he was describing the perfect character and nature of Christ, both in omission and commission.

Jesus never lied, lost his temper, worried, or doubted God’s word; he was never impatient, unloving, selfish, or irreverent. But just as importantly, he told the truth, felt only righteous anger, trusted in his Father completely, and obeyed his Word in every detail; he was patient, loving, selfless, and reverent.

Not only did Jesus not break the first and second commandments, he fulfilled them — he loved the Lord his God with all his heart, all his soul, all his mind, and all his strength, and his neighbor as a result. This is why he is called the righteous branch, or descendant, of David.

But that is not his only description: his name is the Lord our righteousness. Our — this is the word that links us, God, and the righteousness we so desperately need. This is the word that brings this meditation from what might be purely theological to be imminently practical.

Jesus is our righteousness! Paul, as a Pharisee, had always trusted in his own holiness; but then he came to trust in Christ’s. His great desire was “to be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ” (Philippians 3:9).

Have you, like Paul, come to distrust your own record before God, and to trust in Jesus Christ as your righteousness?