It is Christmas Eve and here’s a favorite Scripture about Christ’s First Coming:
To us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of His government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this. (Isaiah 9:6-7)
You’ve heard these words in Handel’s “Messiah.” But thousands of years before Handel and 700 years before Jesus’ first advent, God spoke these words to tell us about His only begotten Son.
God’s Son became flesh and changed the whole course of human history. Art, music, literature, and civilization changed. Our whole understanding of ourselves and our world changed when God came down. Billions have believed on Jesus over the past 2,000 years. He’s given us, not just a new way of understanding life, but a new way of living. J. Sidlow Baxter asserts:
In the super-miracle of the Incarnation, our very Creator, Preserver, and Judge, becomes our Kinsman, Sinbearer, and Redeemer! Of all miracles and mysteries this is the most staggering.
Jesus Is Our Wonderful Counselor. We need His wisdom so desperately. For all our education we are often very misguided and inconsistent people. We have more information at our fingertips than ever, but less wisdom in our heads and hearts than previous generations. Our world is running further and further from God’s truth, from His standards of right and wrong, good and evil. Messiah Jesus has come to show us the path of salvation—the route back to God. He says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) Christ has come to direct us, guide us, and instruct us in righteousness. He sends His Holy Spirit to mold believers according to His Bible truth. So let us take heart. If Jesus is our Wonderful Counselor in these confusing times and if we LIVE by every word from His mouth, we will never be led astray. Let us hear and heed Jesus today and always!
Christ Is the Mighty God. He is UNLIKE any other religious leader. Buddha, Confucius, Mohammed, and Socrates never claimed to be God. But Jesus asserts, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am….I and the Father are one….Whoever has seen me has seen the Father….” (John 8:58; 10:30; 14:9) Christ is God Himself! Not just a great teacher or perfect moral example. He is equal to God the Father and God the Holy Spirit in power and glory. This truth is essential because we are all sinners who break God’s law. We are all under God’s death sentence and condemned to hell for our wrong. Only God Himself, in Messiah Jesus, can salvage and save us. Sin and death, hell and the devil, are too strong for us to overcome ourselves; we will always be overwhelmed. But if Christ is our Mighty God, we have HIS victory that overcomes the world!
Jesus is Immanuel, meaning “God with us.” He who lived in heaven, co-equal and co-eternal with the Father and the Spirit, willingly descended into our world. He breathed our air, felt our pain, knew our sorrows, and died for our sins. Christ didn’t come to frighten us, but to bring us into His safety and security. So let us call on and come to Jesus today and always!
Christ Is the Everlasting Father. The Psalmist reminds us, “As a father shows compassion to His children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.” (Psalm 103:13,14) Jesus is able to sympathize with our weaknesses because He was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin (Heb 4:15). How amazing that our Mighty God stoops down to love and comfort us! He shows favor, grace, kindness, and mercy to all who run to Him for salvation!
Joe Stowell observes, “The stunning point of Christmas is that God considered our needs and our relationship to Him so precious to cause Him to go through the trauma of changing places. Christmas is when God came down the stairs of Heaven with a baby in His arms.” Jesus is not changeable and fickle in dealing with us. He is everlastingly faithful to provide for us, pardon us, protect us, and preserve us. Christ is not in a grave somewhere. He is risen and alive right now, the same yesterday, and today, and forever (Heb 13:8). Christ’s yoke is easy and His burden is light and He gives rest for our souls. So let us turn to and trust Jesus always!
Christ Is the Prince of Peace. Last month was Veteran’s Day and the VA estimates we have 22 million military veterans in the U.S. population. If you add that number to the active personnel serving now, over 7 percent of all living Americans have served in the military at some point. We pray for military peace around the world; that’s good and right. Yet we easily forget that we need peace with God even more urgently. Every sin of ours, every act of rebellion, declares war against the holy, holy, holy God. We provoke Him to wrath by our wrongs. Yet, as Messiah and Mediator, the Lord Jesus has made peace with God for all who repent of their sins and follow Him. The manger leads Christ to the cross.
Jesus was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; And the LORD has laid on Christ the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:5-6)
Bethlehem’s crèche leads Christ to Calvary’s cross. There He purchased peace for His own people with His own blood. If Jesus is our Lord and Savior, we have pardon and cleansing from sin and a peace that endures forever! But we can’t have the peace without a saving relation with Prince Jesus.
Songwriter Michael Card remarks: All we could ever imagine, or ever hope for, Jesus is. He is the Prince of Peace whose first coming has already transformed society. And His second coming will forever establish justice and righteousness. All this, and infinitely more, ALIVE in an impoverished baby in a barn. That is what Christmas means. To find in a place where you’d least expect to find anything you want. You find EVERYTHING you could ever want.
Jesus Christ gave everything for us, beloved. Love so amazing so divine demands our soul, our life, our all in following Him. Will you give yourself to Him for the first time or again?