“Jesus Christ!” I heard him say in anger. I just shook my head a little and hopped in the car with my husband. Whoever that guy in the parking lot was, he was hoppin mad. As we pulled out of the parking lot, I couldn’t help but feel irritated at the way people throw Jesus’ name around. They use it when they are startled. They use it when they are furious. As we drove on, I thought about how His name is so often used as a curse word even in movies. Someone jumps out and scares somebody… “Jesus Christ!” Someone is out of control and screaming at someone… “Jesus Christ.”
Why this name…of all names out there, why His?
I pondered that question for a while, and then it hit me. These people are trying to express the extreme emotion of their situation. They are expressing their extreme surprise, extreme fear, extreme anger. There is nothing they could say that carries more weight. There is not a higher name to shout out during their greatest fear or greatest anger. A car whizzes past and nearly runs a man over. Does he say, “Ghandi!” No. A man flies into a rage on his cell phone. Does he yell, “Buddha!” He does not. Why not? Because these names fall flat. They are weak. They carry no weight, no authority. They are nothing. But if you say Jesus… even out of context…even in vain, you have expressed the highest. There is nothing higher. And even an angry unbeliever knows this on some level, because in those moments of needing to express the most, the greatest, the highest…it’s always Jesus. Even in vain.
“Therefore God elevated Him to the place of highest honor and gave Him the name that is above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” – Philippians 2:9-11