Luca (流嘉 “flowing-joy”) Itsuki Bocanegra.
Our four children are based on biblical covenants and Luca's name is based on the Davidic Covenant--particularly Isaiah 11:10-12:5. Our prayer for Luca is that he rests at the foot of the throne of the Ultimate Davidic King (Isa 11:10)--who is the eternal well of salvation and joy (Isa 12:3). As the Gospel of Luke (Or “Luca” in Japanese/Italian) proclaims, may Luca look to the 'King of Jubilee' who proclaims Good News to the poor, the captive, the blind, the hungry, the thirsty, the oppressed, the hopeless, and the condemned! (Luke 4:18-19)
Our four children are based on four Biblical covenants of God. Kate's name in Japanese characters means "City of Grace," which is based the Covenant of Works of Gen 1-3. The First Adam was commissioned to build a city for God in complete obedience to receive eternal life for his people. He failed, but God promised the Final Adam, Jesus Christ, who will fulfill the Covenant of Works on our behalf to create a new nation that will inherit eternal life, and build a new city, the New Jerusalem, for us. A city that we do not have to build, but a City of Grace.
Nina's name in Japanese characters means "Love of the Rainbow," which is based on the Noahic Covenant of Gen 9. This covenant was not salvific and specific, but preservatory and universal. The rainbow represents a protective dome to prevent God's wrath from drowning humanity in judgment. This dome is a testimony of God's long-suffering patience to those who rebel against him. But it also represents God grace in giving a sinful people an opportunity to turn back to Him. This rainbow allows the Church to proclaim the Gospel of the coming "Final Adam," to invite more people into the new Ark (the Church) before the Last Judgment arrives. This was God's love proclaimed through the rainbow.
Sarah’s name in Japanese characters means “Blessings that are to come”—drawing from Hebrews 11:13 interpretation of the Abrahamic Covenant. The Abrahamic Covenant not only promised a physical child (Isaac), a physical nation (Israel), and a physical promised land (Canaan), but it promised the ultimately promised the heavenly Final Adam (Jesus), the heavenly nation (the Church), and the heavenly promised land (the New Jerusalem). Abraham and Sarah were sojourners on this earth, but, by faith alone, God’s grace alone, and through Jesus Christ alone, they became “co-heirs” with Christ. And just like Abraham and Sarah, although we are sojourners in this world, by faith, we also look forward to the same blessings that are to come.
The Davidic Covenant
Luca’s Japanese characters (流嘉, literally “flowing-joy”) are based on Isaiah 11:10-12:5.
“In that day the root of Jesse, who shall stand as a signal for the peoples—of him shall the nations inquire, and his resting place shall be glorious. In that day the Lord will extend his hand yet a second time to recover the remnant that remains of his people, from Assyria, from Egypt, from Pathros, from Cush, from Elam, from Shinar, from Hamath, and from the coastlands of the sea.
He will raise a signal for the nations and will assemble the banished of Israel, and gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. The jealousy of Ephraim shall depart, and those who harass Judah shall be cut off; Ephraim shall not be jealous of Judah, and Judah shall not harass Ephraim. But they shall swoop down on the shoulder of the Philistines in the west, and together they shall plunder the people of the east. They shall put out their hand against Edom and Moab, and the Ammonites shall obey them.
And the LORD will utterly destroy the tongue of the Sea of Egypt, and will wave his hand over the River with his scorching breath, and strike it into seven channels, and he will lead people across in sandals. And there will be a highway from Assyria for the remnant that remains of his people, as there was for Israel when they came up from the land of Egypt.
12:1 You will say in that day: “I will give thanks to you, O LORD, for though you were angry with me, your anger turned away, that you might comfort me.
“Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the LORD GOD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.”
With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. And you will say in that day: “Give thanks to the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the peoples, proclaim that his name is exalted.
“Sing praises to the LORD, for he has done gloriously; let this be made known in all the earth. Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.””
(Isaiah 11:10–12:6 ESV)
Luca’s middle name Itsuki (一樹) means ‘one tree’ referring to the single royal Davidic line which promised the King who would bring the eternal kingdom (2 Sam 7). This King, this “root of Jesse” (11:10) is not merely a descendant of David, but the very “root,” “power,” or “source” of the Davidic Kingdom. The “root of Jesse” is the ultimate fulfillment of the Davidic King—Jesus Christ himself. And when this Davidic King comes, he will act as a “signal” (11:10, 11) or a banner that gathers the people of God from the “four corners of the earth” (11:12) to himself. When they gather there will be be no in-fighting, civil war, or “jealousy” (11:13), but gather with humble, self-denying unity—as if the walls of hostility were broken down forever (Cf. Eph 2:10ff). And the LORD—through the Davidic King—will execute the Ultimate Exodus that will ultimately and forever rescue his people (11:15-16). They will walk with “sandals” (11:15) through the waters of Death—just like the resurrection of Jesus Christ after his gruesome crucifixion as the “King of the Jews” (Rom 1:3-4).
But what will this Ultimate Exodus look like? The people gathered at the foot of the Davidic King will walk through the wrath of God with forgiveness and comfort (Isa 12:1). The people of the Davidic King will walk through adversity because “the LORD God is [their] strength and [their] song” (12:2). The people of the David King through the dry and barren wilderness because they draw water with joy from “the wells of salvation” (12:3)—Jesus Christ himself (Cf. John 4).
Therefore, no matter what age, gender, race, socio-economic status, personality, no matter how deeply you have sinned, no matter how deep, irreversible, or dire your condition, when the Davidic King comes again to rescue his people, everyone will shout for joy! (Isaiah 12:4–6 ESV) In fact, the Gospel of Luke (or Luca/Luka in Italian/ Japanese) portrays the Davidic King as the “King of Jubilee.” The King who brings about the Grand Salvific Reversal—just like the Exodus and “the Year of the Lord’s Favor” (Cf. Isa 11:16, Isa 60:1-61:3).
“And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. [Jesus] unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.””
(Luke 4:17–19 ESV)
And when the Davidic King comes at the end of time to execute the Final Exodus, where will the Davidic King lead his people to? He will gather them to himself—the eternal “well of salvation,” flowing with joy forever.
“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.”
(Revelation 22:1–5 ESV)
We pray that Luca Itsuki Bocanegra would trust in, hope for, and love dearly His King, His well of 'flowing-joy' (Isa 12:3, John 4:14)—Jesus Christ.