On August 21st, our daughter, Perpetua Eve was born into the world! She weighed a healthy 6 pounds, 11 ounces, and is now nearly a month old, getting cuter and cuter each day! When we found out we were pregnant last November, even before we knew the gender, the Lord dropped this girl’s name into our hearts and I wanted to share a little about what it means.
Besides being the name of a Christian woman martyr from the 3rd Century A.D., “Perpetua” simply means perpetual (or eternal). Combined with the name “Eve” (Hebrew name expressing “life”), her name means, “Eternal Life”.
Why “Eternal Life”?
When Adam and Eve were expelled from Eden, they were banned from immortality: “…lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever” (Gen. 3:22). Since then, the reversal of the curse (returning to the dust, Gen. 3:19) and the hope of attaining eternal life became the hope of the Jewish people (Acts 26:6-8). In this context, the rich young ruler understandably asks, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” (Lk. 18:18)
When Jesus came to bear the penalty of sin (death), He proclaimed that the hope of Israel will only be obtained through faith in Him and His atoning sacrifice: “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in Him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” (Jn. 6:40, cf. Jn. 6:51-58) The great goal of being included in “those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead” (Lk. 20:35) is now realized “through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified (declared righteous) by His grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” (Tit. 3:6-7) Those who wash their robes in the blood of the Lamb may once again “have the right to the tree of life” (Rev. 22:14, cf. 7:14) and because of Jesus’ own resurrection, we have this living, grave-tested hope, “because I live, you will live also” (Jn. 14:19, cf. 1 Pet. 1:3). May Perpetua bear the good news that, “this life is in His Son” (1 Jn. 5:11).