“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”
– 2 Corinthians 5:17
Being newly married, I am beginning the hassling process of updating my last name. Any document bearing my maiden name is no longer accurate–but I can’t complain about the reason behind it! Earthly marriage demonstrates many parallels between Christ’s romance with His church, and I find the name changing process especially intriguing.
Look around: we live in a world absolutely paranoid by identity theft. We don’t want to lose our names! With computer hackers, credit card scams, etc., it is easy to forfeit privacy of personal information. We still, however, strive to protect ourselves so that no imposter will come along and use our name for fraudulent purposes. We do not want to be linked with deception; we do not want to be the victims of ill-gotten gain.
We understand that our name helps define us. It connects a verbal cue with a physical portrait. Our name also links us to our past–which may or may not be a great thing. But our earthly name is time-sensitive and temporary; it will vanish shortly after we do.
I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t feel proud about taking my earthly name (maiden or married) to my grave, if I was the only one attached to my own identity. There would be nothing exciting, nothing special, nothing meaningful about my name on my tombstone indicating that I once lived on this earth for a short span of time. By myself, I would be nothing worth remembering. Nothing good I have ever done, or could ever venture to do, would stem from my own volition.
Fortunately, I have been the blessed victim of divine identity theft.
Just as my childhood is vanishing with the new blossoming marriage, just as my maiden name is being replaced by my husband’s last name, so Christ has given me a new identity through His sanctification and grace. To Him, I am no longer associated to sin and separation. To Him, I have a name that only He recognizes–and with that He now identifies me.
Before we came to Christ, we thought that our life was our own. As believers, we recognize that our new life is not our own. But have we realized, truly realized, that even before Christ, our lives were not our own? Before Christ, we were victims of a malicious deceiver who was using our lives for his ill-gotten gain. We didn’t realize that we were serving a master who had no intention of prospering our lives, but instead would drag us into the grave with him. Have we realized that the rest of the world is still the victim of identity fraud, and they have no clue?
Just a thought.