In Hebrew, Jesus means "God saves." At the annunciation, the angel Gabriel gave him the name Jesus, which expresses both his identity and his mission. Since God alone can forgive sins, it is God, in Jesus, who will save his people from their sins.
The name "Jesus" signifies that the very name of God is present in the person of his Son, made man for the universal and definitive redemption from sins. It is the divine name that alone brings salvation. Jesus' Resurrection glorifies the name of the Savior God, for from that time on it is the name of Jesus that fully manifests the supreme power of the name which is above every name.
"Christ" comes from the Greek translation of the Hebrew Messiah, which means, "anointed." It became the name proper to Jesus because he accomplished perfectly the divine mission that Christ signifies.
Jesus' messianic consecration reveals his divine mission because the name Christ implies 'he who anointed', 'he who was anointed', and 'the very anointing with which he was anointed'. The one who anointed is the Father, the anointed one is the Son, and he was anointed with the Spirit. The eternal messianic consecration of Jesus was revealed during the time of his earthly life at the moment of his baptism by John.
In the Old Testament, "son of God" is a title given to the angels, the Chosen People, the children of Israel, and their kings. It signifies an adoptive sonship that establishes a relationship of particular intimacy between God and his creature. When the promised Messiah-King is called "son of God," it does not necessarily mean that he was more than human. Those who called Jesus "son of God," as the messiah of Israel, perhaps meant nothing more than this.
But this is not the case when Simon Peter confessed that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. From the beginning, this acknowledgement of Christ's divine sonship will be the center of the apostolic faith, first professed by Peter as the Church's foundation.
The Gospels report that at two solemn moments, the Baptism and the Transfiguration of Christ, the Father designates Jesus his "beloved Son." Jesus calls himself the "only Son of God," and by this title affirms his eternal preexistence. He asks for faith in "the name of the only Son of God." But only in the Paschal mystery can the believer give the title "Son of God" its full meaning.
After his resurrection, Jesus' divine sonship becomes manifest in the power of his glorified humanity. He was designated son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his Resurrection from the dead.
In the Greek translation of the Old Testament, the overwhelming Hebrew name, YHWH, by which God revealed himself to Moses, is rendered as Kyrios, "Lord." Since then, "Lord" becomes the more usual name to indicate the divinity of Israel's God. This divine title is used in the New Testament both for the Father and for Jesus, who is recognized as God Himself.
Very often in Gospel people address Jesus as "Lord." This is a sign of respect and trust of those who approach him for help and healing. At the prompting of the Holy Spirit, "Lord" expresses the recognition of the divine mystery of Jesus. In the encounter of the risen Jesus, this title becomes a sign of adoration.
By attributing to Jesus the divine title "Lord," one confesses that the power, honor, and glory due to God the Father are due also to Jesus because he was in the form of God, and the Father manifested the dominion of Jesus by raising him from the dead and exalting him into his glory.
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