The other day I realized how important a name can be. I was at the airport getting an ‘escort pass’ to meet my middle son at the gate of his return flight from Baltimore. I spent about 30 minutes in line for the ticket counter and then handed the airline representative my license. I was handed a gate pass and rushed to the TSA security checkpoint. I then waited in another line for about 15 more minutes. After handing the agent my license and the ‘escort pass’, he asked me for my name. I told him and he stated that I could not proceed…the name on my license and the name on the pass did not match – the pass had my son’s name on it! I was refused entrance. So I went back to the counter, got a new pass, then went back to the TSA agent and then was allowed to pass. Thankfully, I made it to the gate about a minute before my son’s plane arrived.
I wasn’t allowed to go where I wanted to go because I didn’t have the right name on my ‘gate pass’. My contention that the airline rep made the mistake and that I was given the wrong information would not have swayed the TSA. My personality, reputation or charm would not have changed the officer’s position. Even though it wasn’t my fault and I was not, in any way, a threat to others I was not going to be allowed to pass. I did not bear the right name and therefore I could not go further.
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12 (NIV)
There is nothing in the scriptures that would make me naturally liken the airport to heaven, and yet my thoughts connected the two. One day we will stand at the crossroad of heaven and hell, and we will be asked for our credentials to enter into glory. We won’t be met by a TSA officer (or St. Peter); instead, we’ll have to present our ‘gate pass’ to the Father. There is only one name that will allow us passage – the name of Jesus Christ. If we don’t bear His name, we will be refused passage. No excuse for its absence will be accepted: there is no room to plead ignorance or espouse our own abilities. Our salvation – our eternal peace – is found in no other name. Either we carry the name of Jesus with us or we are turned away.
I was lucky the other day and was given a second chance to get it right. I had the opportunity to change my ticket and bear the proper name. Perhaps this is your opportunity to make sure you, too, have the right name on your pass. Do you trust Jesus, and Him alone, with your entrance into heaven? As Peter said, “There is no other name….”