Yahweh and Jesus – The Name of Yahweh-M’kaddesh

Yahweh and Jesus – The Name of Yahweh-M’kaddesh

Yahweh and Jesus – The Name of Yahweh M’kaddesh.

“So set yourselves apart for a holy life, because I am Yahweh your God. Keep all my decrees by putting them into practice, for I am Yahweh-M’kaddesh, the LORD-who-makes-you-holy.” (Leviticus 20:7-8).

HOLY = to be set apart for special use; assigned to a godly purpose; sanctified; designated for a sacred function; separated from that which would compromise or tarnish one’s purpose or character; to be distinct because of one’s purity; to have attributes and uses that make one distinctive; to be cleansed in order to increase one’s usefulness to God; to separate one’s behavior from the common and ungodly.

If there is one attribute of God that is at the head of the list, it is God’s holiness. He is uniquely set apart from the created world, since He is the transcendent Creator. He is absolutely separate from evil and sin, since He is gloriously pure and morally perfect. And because He is holy, we who believe in Him are called to be holy as well. Yes, we are called to be set part and blameless as we obey Him, living a holy life. On the one hand, believers are declared holy through Jesus Christ. We occupy a sacred position before the LORD. We are members of the priesthood of all believers. On the other hand, we are asked to live into that position by partaking in His holy nature. God declares us to be holy, and then He makes us holy by enabling us to share in His holiness. Sanctify yourselves, the LORD is saying, for I am the One sanctifies you.

There is the paradox. We are told  to sanctify ourselves, to make ourselves holy, to set ourselves apart, But then again we are told that it is God Himself who makes us holy. We separate ourselves by obeying His Word and following His designs for our lives. But then again Yahweh’s job is to separate us from the ungodly as well.  We are expected to cooperate with God’s efforts to make us holy. We are to participate in God’s very nature and in His plans for us. On the one hand this, on the other hand that. Holiness seems to be a team sport. The LORD provides the priest’s robe and gives us a fitting. And then our work  seems to be keeping the robe on and living in a way that honors what that robe represents. God makes us holy, but then we have a hand in making ourselves holy too.

Holy is the best word we have for the all-encompassing, all-embracing life of God that transforms us into a uniquely formed and set apart people. Holy is never a pious abstraction. Holiness cannot be reduced to an emotional devotional experience that we cultivate in order to “feel spiritual.” Holiness is an invitation to enter into what God is doing and intending to get done in the world. And it’s for everyone. Holiness is not targeted to an elite spiritual aristocracy.”  (Eugene Peterson, The  Jesus Way).

Gospel Fulfillment. What does it mean to share God’s holiness: Being set apart from sin and its consequences; Growing in those aspects of divine nature that God shares with believers; Being partners with Christ in His divinity because of His partnership with us in humanity; Cultivating divine characteristics because of intimate fellowship with God; God’s image being restored in us because of our union with Him; The result of participating in the life of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; Acquiring God’s spiritual DNA.

To be holy is to be a saint:  A willing member of the holy priesthood of all believers; someone who is determined to be in the Lord’s sanctification process; a follower of Jesus who is intentionally living into holiness; a disciple of Christ who accepts being assigned by God for a sacred purpose; a person who is set apart for service to God and thus holy; a humble believer who reminds others of God’s presence in the world; an imperfect person who is designated to represent a perfect God; a Christian believer whose behavior is increasingly separate from the sinful and worldly; a Christ-follower who is engaged in the process of being cleansed and purified in order to increase one’s usefulness to God; a believer whose life is marked by growth in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18).

Holiness is wild  and undomesticated. Holiness is an interior fire, a passion for living for God, a capacity for exuberance in living out the life of God in the details of our day-to-day lives. Holy is not a word that drains the blood out of life. It’s a word that gets the blood pumping, pulsing life through our veins and putting color in our cheeks.”  (Eugene Peterson, The Jesus Way).

Wanted: A Magnet. Are we looking for a way to give holiness some pulling power? Are we trying to make holiness attractive to the crowd as well as the church? Look no further than Jesus. He led a beautiful, holy life.

  1. His holy wisdom helps make sense of the world. His wisdom is a vast improvement over the world’s glaring foolishness. True to His Word, He is truth-in-action.
  2. His holy goodness makes the world a better place. The obvious beauty of His goodness is a decided advantage over the banal ugliness of sin. He is love-in-action.
  3. His final victory provides the ultimate attraction. His holy life couldn’t be defeated by death. He was victorious in something that defeated everyone else. His resurrection was power-in-action.

So how can we make holiness compelling? For one thing, maybe the main thing, is to keep pointing people to the Gospels. Talk about His character and personality, His life and  ministry. It’s hard to argue with any of that. As the Holy Spirit guides the process, people will question Him, then admire Him, then investigate Him, then follow Him. It is a divine duty of all believers to live in such a way as to make Jesus an attractive option, the only option. Christians need to grow in winsomely fleshing out the beauty of His holiness through demonstrating His wisdom, His goodness, and His ultimate victory. While we do that, keep praying that God would give us “a crown of beauty” to replace our ashes of defeat. (Isaiah 61:3).

“All of us, if we only knew it, are on a hunt for the holy, for a life that cannot be reduced to the way we look or what we do or what others think of us. We are after something – more life than we get simply by eating three meals a day, getting a little exercise, and having a decent job. We’re after the God-originated and God-shaped life – a holy life.” (Eugene Peterson, The Jesus Way).

A Prayer to Yahweh-M’kaddesh (ya’-way ma-kay’-dash), honoring Jesus, His incarnation;

We hallow your Name Yahweh-M’kaddesh, LORD-who-makes-us-holy. For you are the Holy One who is set apart from everything else in the universe, above everything, the first and the last, eternally present and transcendent. You are the Pure One in our midst and in the world, separate from all evil and sin. Who is like you, Yahweh, glorious in your beauty, power and purity. You are thus worthy to set us apart, LORD, to be your peculiar people in this world, partakers of your divine holiness. You sanctify us, Lord, through your Word of truth, setting us apart for your sacred purposes. You are holy, and so we shall be holy unto you, O God, kept blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. We thank you for making us holy through the death of your Son on the Cross, being sanctified through His blood. We bow before you, Yahweh-M’kaddesh, and extol your sacred Name. Amen.