The name slipped like a sigh into the darkness.
Yeshua, the Lord Saves. Yahweh is Salvation.
His face scrunched into a pout, eyes squeezed tight and his tiny mouth opened in a hungry wail, bottom lip quivering.
Yeshua. Hungry boy, naked babe, wrapped in soft flax and wool and hearing his mother’s voice whispered into the air, over his head, into his little, curled ear: the Lord Saves.
He heard this name called sharply when he toddled too close to the cooking fire, heard it frantically called through the temple, heard it every night as he grew up, “Goodnight, Yeshua.” Sleep well, the Lord Saves.
The Lord Saves. And the moniker of salvation appeared in his studies: there were two other Yeshuas in the scrolls the Rabbis unrolled with care, two other Yeshuas who bore the name of salvation. We call them Joshua and Isaiah. But little Yeshua memorized the passages about Joshua’s mighty triumphs in the strength of Yahweh. He took into his heart and memory the words of Isaiah, a rich prophetic narrative, both a history and prophecy and indeed, the story of his own life. He would be the tender shoot,the suffering Yeshua, assigned a grave with the wicked (Isaiah 53).
Did he play as a child and pretend to be Joshua, Mighty Savior? Did he study extra hard to be Isaiah, prophet of God? Did he bear the weight of the name? Did he wonder how he, a dusty, sweaty boy might bring salvation to his people?
Because the victorious Yeshua and the prophetic Yeshua had their lives and words immortalized in the Rabbi’s scrolls yet this little Yeshua, would be the rejected savior, the suffering One.
And on that night, when the tiny savior cried as all babies do, within the cradling arms of his mother, amidst the steamy breath of sheep and goats, the gentle bleating and hoof-scuffling the harmony to Mary’s humming lullaby, the meaning, the depth of his name, Yeshua, was a distant dream.
On that night, he was a miracle, a secret miracle. A baby born from a spiritual union, different than any other child, indeed, different than any other Yeshua. And this secret paternity, this Yahweh Father, would in spirit and in biology, be always with Yeshua. So the suffering, long predicted and yet to come, would be Yahweh’s own suffering and the Spirit’s suffering as well.
And Mary, poor and worn and wondering, held the Trinity in the crook of her arm.
She knew deep inside that somehow everything this world knew about Yahweh would be forever changed by the life of this helpless infant at her breast. And she whispered the comfort of the other name Yeshua the prophet gave to him over 600 years before, the name no other would be called:
God With Us.
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will all him Immanuel, which means, “God with us”. Matthew 1:22-23
And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” Luke 1:46
“On that day you will realize that I am in my Father and you are in me, and I am in you.” Jesus, in John 14:20
Immanuel. God with me. God in you. God in us.