A Reminder of What Christ Will Be

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A Reminder of What Christ Will Be

Isaiah 9:1-7

When I lived and ministered in Germany, there was a couple we met whose last name was Rousseau. The husband’s first name was “Peace with God in Jesus Christ.” That was his name. They nicknamed him “Peace.” But if you looked on his driver’s license, as I did to get proof of his name, it was printed in real small letters: “Peace with God in Jesus Christ” Rousseau.

That name was a reminder from a father to his son about who he was. He was reminded every time someone called out his name that he was a child of God and had peace with God in Jesus Christ.

When one thinks of Christmas, beyond the candy canes, cookies, gifts, and decorations, one is reminded of the birth of Jesus Christ. One is reminded of the meaning of the name Jesus Christ. He is called Jesus because He will save people from their sin. His title was Christ, the Greek translation of the word Messiah in Hebrew. The word means the “Anointed One” or the One who God has chosen to rule on Earth. The first name points to a fact of history that as Christians we rely on. The last name points to a future, one that Christmas should remind us about.

The passage speaks of a prophecy. As an Old Testament prophet, Isaiah probably saw this as one extended prophecy. During the time of Jesus’ birth, that is how the religious leaders saw this prophecy. They thought that a baby would be born who would rule. They saw the names in Isaiah and people would be reminded that there would be a Savior and a King who would come to rule.

As a Christian, we know that this passage is a prophecy in two parts. There are events that happened at Jesus’ first coming. There are events also associated with His Second Coming.

FIVE ROLES THAT GOD PROPHESIED WHAT HIS SON WILL BE1

1. A child will be born for us. (Isaiah 9:6)

For a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us, and the government will be on his shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6, CSB)

The point of the birth of Jesus – the point of Christmas is that He will come for us. Jesus later said that He came to serve and to save (Matthew 20:28).

2. A son will be given to us. (Isaiah 9:6)

For a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us, and the government will be on his shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6, CSB)

God has given us a son. Just as John states in another place: God gave His Son so that those who trust Him will not perish but have everlasting life. God gave a son so that we could have eternal life. Christmas reminds us that God gave His Son to us for our eternal sakes.

3. The government will be on His shoulders. (Isaiah 9:6)

For a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us, and the government will be on his shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6, CSB)

This is when the prophecy separates into two periods. As Jews, they looked to one event. As Christians, we now see two events. So Christmas reminds us of some unfinished business that God will attend to. He will establish a government in which His Son will be king and ruler.

4. He will be called… (Isaiah 9:6)

“…He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6, CSB)

Jesus won’t be called Prime Minister, Chancellor, or President. There will be no human evaluation that states how Jesus will rule. Instead, we have four titles which the people will use about Jesus. These titles will define the way He will rule.

THE COMING PEACE2

Everyone looks for peace. Only One can bring true peace. The Old Testament prophet predicted that there would be a “Prince” who would come and bring peace. That coming Prince of Peace is Jesus of Nazareth. Here in Isaiah 9:1-7, God shares with Isaiah a two-stage development in which the true Prince of Peace would come.

First, Isaiah is told that there is a distress that only One can solve (Isaiah 9:1). God points to the present and then looks back in order to look forward.

Second, Isaiah shows that only one Person can bring light to darkness (Isaiah 9:2). Only one Person can bring joy (Isaiah 9:3). Only one Person can shatter the oppressor (Isaiah 9:4). One Person can end war (Isaiah 9:5). Only one Person is both God and Man (Isaiah 9:6). Only one Person can govern the world with an arm of peace (Isaiah 9:7).

The Prince came the first time to show us the life of peace (Isaiah 9:6). He will return a second time to lead the entire world with peace (Isaiah 9:6). It is the desire of the Lord that the Prince rule in peace. God’s desire is peace. He wants peace. He will equip His Prince to rule a world in peace (Isaiah 9:7).

5. The dominion will be vast. (Isaiah 9:7)

The dominion will be vast, and its prosperity will never end. He will reign on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish and sustain it with justice and righteousness from now on and forever. The zeal of the Lord of Armies will accomplish this.” (Isaiah 9:7, CSB)

If the last part described how we will address Him, then this part describes how far and wide He will rule. We hear what titles the people will use. We see how wide and far He will rule. We now see from where He will rule. He will pick up where David’s dynasty left off. He will rule from David’s throne and will do so for eternity.

So tonight, let’s look at Jesus. As the Wonderful Counselor, he has the best ideas and strategies. Let’s follow him. As the Mighty God, he defeats his enemies easily. Let’s hide behind him. As the Everlasting Father, he loves us endlessly. Let’s enjoy him. As the Prince of Peace, he reconciles us while we are still his enemies. Let’s welcome his dominion3

The contemporary significance of this passage of Scripture comes down to this: Have we allowed the Child-King to take over the government of our lives? Only then can we know the benefits of God with us. We cannot have the light, the honor, the joy, the abundance, the integration that he offers in any other way.4

As we reflect on Christmas tonight, let’s not just think and speak about what was – the birth of a son, but let’s be reminded of what Christ will be.

1 Jim Erwin, “He Will Be,” Isaiah 9:6-7, Internet, Patheos, http://www.patheos.com/blogs/jimerwin/2014/12/24/he-will-be/, 24 December 2014, accessed on 23 December 2017.

2 Jim Erwin, “The Coming Peace,” Isaiah 9:1-7, 2 August 2016, Internet, Patheos, http://www.patheos.com/blogs/jimerwin/2016/08/02/the-coming-peace/, accessed on 23 December 2017.

3 Raymond C. Ortlund Jr. and R. Kent Hughes, Isaiah: God Saves Sinners, Preaching the Word (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2005), 99.

4 John N. Oswalt, Isaiah, The NIV Application Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 2003), 162.

Photo by Gift Habeshaw on Unsplash


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