“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” – Isaiah 9:6-7
The above words were written 7 centuries before the birth of Jesus Christ, but the prophet Isaiah, who penned them, provided great expectations for the people of Israel who, over the ensuing centuries, were waiting for deliverance in their bondage. These descriptors and names of the coming liberator are deeply profound.
Without providing an exhaustive explanation, the reader or listener would discover that the messiah would exhibit the following traits, as listed in the above verses:
The coming deliverer would be born, while also being “everlasting.” He would be a son, while also being a “Father.” He would be a man (human) while also being known by the name “Mighty God.” These paradoxes could only be true if the one coming was also “God become man.” The one coming must be fully man and fully God. He will be a king ruling over a spiritual kingdom (this is where the waiting Jews were confused) and will provide Wonderful (acts of wonders – or miracles) Counsel (words of wisdom from above). As the miracle or wonder working spokesman for God, Jesus fulfilled this promising prophecy and would say and do only what the Father dictates, while showing us His Father’s glory and revealing His Father’s will.
Ultimately, it would be through the perfect life that He lived and the gory, shameful death that he died (on a despicable cross, the capital punishment of his day, an embarrassing sign of one “cursed by God”) that Christ would provide peace. Absorbing the curse of God upon our sins and experiencing the wrath of God toward our sins, Jesus becomes a perfect sacrifice and substitute for those who receive him as Lord and Savior. Turning from sin and trusting in Christ alone as the only hope for forgiveness, one finds Him, the one who indeed is the true “Prince of Peace,” and the only One who can take away our guilt and provide acceptance before a holy and pure God.
This is the Christmas message, God becoming man, in order to live the life we cannot live and to die a death that we deserve. Needy men and women still seek him and in doing so, discover that the baby born in the cattle feeding trough is actually God in the flesh and the resurrected Lord of the universe! Let us bow before Him and worship with the angels!