For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
This prophecy by Isaiah was given over 600 years before the birth of Christ. The titles listed for the “son” that would be born have eternal ramifications. Each one of the titles are divine in nature and point to a most significant event in which divinity and humanity would collide. It is the most important prophecy in the Old Testament Canon because it points to both the incarnation of the birth of Christ and the redemption he provided by his death on Calvary. Isaiah says of this “son“, that “…the government will rest upon his shoulder.” The Hebrew word used here is misrah which could also be translated kingdom or empire. In other words, the burden of a kingdom would be placed on the shoulders of this “son”. The cross was violently thrust upon the shoulders of the Son of God along with the burden of fallen humanity. Thus the burden of the misrah or Kingdom rests solely on the atonement he provided for us.
Before the burden was thrust upon the shoulders of Christ at his death we are faced with the significance of his birth. “A child is born, a son is given...” Yet, not just any child or any son. He would be Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace. As a wonderful counselor He is the great High Priest who “understands our weaknesses” (Hebrews 4:15). As Mighty God He came to us through the miracle of the virgin birth and incarnation. (John 1:14). As Everlasting Father His birth was not his true beginning and his death would not be His end. (John 8:58 & John 1:1). As the Prince of Peace He would reconcile forever the enmity between God and Man. (1 Timothy 2:5).
The greatest miracle of Christmas is found in the first chapter of John’s Gospel. Unlike Matthew and Luke, John starts his narrative long before the birth in Bethlehem. He looks back through eternity with the opening statement of his Gospel. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1). Three different times John uses the word “Logos” to describe Jesus Christ. This Greek word encapsulates the full meaning of all thought, ideas and reason. It is a BIG word. The Logos was God. If there was ever any doubt of the deity of Christ, Isaiah’s prophecy in 9:6 ought to quiet the critics. He would be born “Mighty God“. The Word was God and John says, “So the Word (Logos) became human and made his home among us.” (John 1:14 NLT). God made his home among us! There it is! That is the greatest miracle in history.
The fall of mankind occurred in Genesis 3 and from that time to the moment the angels announced the birth, there were only futile attempts of restoring the broken relationship. The Tower of Babel could not reach high enough, no amount of slaughtered oxen could suffice and even the law could only reveal humanity’s need of reconciliation. In Genesis 3, God cast humanity out of his presence, yet in the Gospels he interjects himself into humanity. John says, “He made his home among us.” HE came to US. We could never have come to him, but he came to us. The uncorrupted seed was placed in the womb of Mary through immaculate conception and heaven came near. In every religion there is a group of committed people who are seeking to find a way to “get to God.” Yet the miracle of the Advent reveals God coming to us. Deity did not only come to live among us, He came to die for us. No wonder Paul said of this message, “to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness.” (1 Cor. 1:23) It may sound foolish to some but to me it sounds like salvation. The angels announcement was very clear, “For there is born TO YOU this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11). That announcement resonates through the halls of human history and in the hearts of broken humanity. The Kingdom has been restored, the burden of our sin rests upon his shoulders and eternal life has now been made possible. The story of Christmas is, “God became man so that man could come to God.” On a very dark night 2,000 years ago light came and that light “gives light to every man coming into the world.” (John 1:9).
This Christmas I hope you enjoy being with family. I hope you eat lots of good food and exchange gifts with those you love. In the midst of this busy season, I hope you will recall the greatest miracle of all. God came to us, died for us so we could one day live with Him.