Once, when I was in an Islamic country, while I was travelling by car through the city, I talked to the driver and when I began to introduce him the members of my family, I managed to present the message of the Gospel using the names of my wife, my children and mine. I want to begin a new column on this portal to present the significance of names, as people will request, and how each name can present a truth from the Bible. Most names are of Hebrew and Greek origins and they have direct dealings with the message of the Holy Scriptures. The name of my mother, my wife and my daughter is “Anastasia”. That’s why, I will begin to explain the significance of this beautiful name.
“Anastasis” is action
The Greek word “anastasis” is mentioned very often in the Bible and it has more meanings, depending on the context. When I looked for this word in BibleWorks, it showed me that the word “anastas*” was found in 138 verses in 6 different forms. When it is used as a verb, it is translated “to make, or to cause someone stand up, raise up”. This meaning of this word is used for the first time when God promised Abram to inherit the land of Canaan and He said:
Arise, walk about the land (Canaan) through its length and breadth; for I will give it to you. (Genesis 13:17)(NASB)
The word “arise” was translated in the Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Old Testament, as “anastasas”.
Abram was promised to inherit a land on this earth. Here is what the Holy Scripture says about the inheritance of true Christians:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you. (1 Peter 1:3–4)(NASB)
Abraham had to play his part and to arise to walk about the land through its length and breadth. If he hadn’t obeyed God, he wouldn’t have inherited His promises. It is the same with the inheritance that waits for us in heaven. We have to do our part to inherit it. Here is what this part is:
If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)(NASB)
To confess Jesus as the Lord means to choose to live in a total obedience to Him, to be a slave before Him. And this is possible when you believe from all your heart that God raised Him from the dead.
“Anastasis” is a promise
I suppose you have noticed that I made bold the words “resurrection” and “raised” in the texts mentioned above. The Greek word of these words has the same root as the word “anastasis” that literally means “to raise again”, that means resurrection in that certain context. And for sure this is the main significance that made the first Christians name their children with this beautiful word, because resurrection from the dead is the hope of every Christian. Faith doesn’t have any importance without hope in the resurrection of the dead, as Apostle Paul meant when he said:
If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied. (1 Corinthians 15:19)(NASB)
We believe and we wait for the resurrection of the dead because the Lord Jesus said:
I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies (The Gospel of John 11:25)(NASB)
All people will raise from the dead
The name “Anastasia” should be a remembrance for all people about their future resurrection. In the Book of Revelation, God showed to the Apostle John how resurrection is going to take place and he described it in this way:
Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years. (Revelation 20:4–6)(NASB)
In the same chapter of the Book of Revelation is described the second resurrection, when all those who neglected the calling of God and the sacrifice of His Son will raise for judgement. Here is how the Holy Scripture described this resurrection:
Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:11–15)(NASB)
How will your resurrection be?
Do you believe in the resurrection of the dead? If you know persons named Anastasia, when you think or when you meet these people, you should remember what the Word of God says about the resurrection from the dead and make the right choise for eternal destiny.
If your name is Anastasia, believe in the resurrection of the dead and live worthy of your name.
Once a young soldier was brought to Alexander of Macedon. That young man’s name was also Alexander and he ran away from his post. When the great ruler found out that, he said to that soldier: “Either you change your name, or change your conduct…”
Is your behaviour worthy of the resurrection that you say you are waiting for?
Translated by Felicia Djugostran