"For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the Government shall be upon His shoulder. And His Name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His Government and peace, there shall be no end…" Isaiah 9:6-7
A Miraculous Book
The Bible is a supernatural Book. It is the Greatest Book ever written, the first Book to ever be printed. It has been translated into more languages, printed more times, read by more people than any other book in the history of the world. The Bible has over 2,000 specific prophecies that have already been fulfilled in history. There has never been anything else in all of history to compare with the Bible’s prophecies. Jesus Christ fulfilled 333 of those prophecies during His ministry on earth.
A Miraculous Birth
One of those prophecies was of the miraculous birth of Christ. "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son and shall call His Name Immanuel." Isaiah 7:14
Sacred Scripture records the supernatural birth of Christ: The Holy Spirit came upon the virgin Mary and the power of the Highest overshadowed her (Luke 1:35). The Angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph and told him that which was conceived in Mary was of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:20).
"And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His Name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins. So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet saying: 'Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son and they shall call His Name Immanuel, which is translated, 'God with us'." Matthew 1:21-23
A Miraculous Life
A miraculous Book predicted the miraculous birth of the most miraculous Person in all of history. Jesus Christ healed the sick. He made the crippled walk, the deaf to hear, the dumb to speak and the blind to see. He raised the dead. There never was anyone who taught as Jesus taught, who lived a perfect life, and who died such a death, taking our sins upon Himself.
A Miraculous Resurrection
Yet His life did not end with His death on the Cross. Three days later He rose from the dead. The tomb of Christ is empty. Jesus lives today. The miraculous Book points to His miraculous birth, which was the prelude to a miraculous life, atoning death and miraculous Resurrection from the dead.
A Miraculous Return
He has promised to return again to Judge the living and the dead. On that day will He be your Saviour? or your Judge?
Jesus Christ was not born a prince, or an heir to the throne. He is the only One who has ever been born a King. The Wise men from the East, asked: "Where is the One who has been born King…? We have come to worship Him." Matthew 2:2
The Menace of the Manger
King Herod felt that his selfish lifestyle and comfortable political position was threatened by the newborn babe. Gripped by selfishness and a lust for power, Herod sought to murder the Messiah by massacring all still in the manger, in Bethlehem.
Everyone loves the birth of a child. Well, almost everyone. Of course there are some that prefer abortion to birth. Instead of life they choose death. Most of us find a new born child cute. That is one reason why most people celebrate Christmas. A babe in a manger seems so unthreatening, so harmless.
The Scripture goes beyond declaring: "For unto us a Child is born, to us a Son is given. And the Government will be upon His shoulder…". This is getting more threatening. This is why Herod declared war on the womb. He saw menace in the manger.
The Message of the Manger
We no longer worship a babe in a cradle. He is the Son of God who died on the Cross. The day will come when He will return to this earth wearing the Crown of the Sovereign Lord of the universe. We will all stand before His throne and have to give an account of our lives. Unless we have turned to God in Faith and Repented of our sins, we will be eternally condemned.
When the Bible speaks of 'the Government', it is always talking about God's Sovereign Rule. We are unbiblical when we attribute sovereign powers to civil authorities. Civil governments are "God's servant, and agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer" Romans 13:4. Governors are "sent by Him to punish those who do wrong." 1 Peter 2:14. As Jesus declared to the Roman governor Pilate; "You would have no authority over me unless it had been given you from above." John 19:11
This is the Message of the Manger: Jesus Christ is Lord! He is Lord over all and over all aspects of life: King of kings and Lord of lords!
"And He will be called Wonderful counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
Wonderful counsellor: He is all-knowing. He embodies absolute wisdom. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. He hears our prayers. He guides His people.
Mighty God: He is all-powerful. He is God Himself. Jesus Christ is the Incarnation of God. He is fully God and fully man.
Everlasting Father: He is Eternal. From everlasting to everlasting. As a Father He is compassionate. He cares. He provides, and He protects.
Prince of Peace: There is no peace without the Prince of Peace. Those politicians who think that they can achieve peace without Jesus Christ are deluded. Only in Christ will we as individuals, families, or nations, find true and lasting peace, with justice.
"Of the increase of His Government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever." The ultimate victory and triumph of Christ's Kingdom is inevitable.
"In the time of those kings, the God of Heaven will set up a Kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever." Daniel 2:44
This is what the Great Commission calls us to: "All authority in Heaven and on earth has been given to Me, therefore go and make disciples of all the nations… teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you…" Matthew 28:18-19
There is no authority that is not under Christ. This is what it means to pray The Lord's Prayer: "Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven." Matthew 6:10
As Isaiah 11:9 declares: "The earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea." "Every knee will bow, every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord" (Philippians 2:10-11).
Crib, Cross and Crown
This is the message of Christmas - not only of the crib, but of the Cross. Not only the cross, but also the Crown.
You rejoice that a child has been born?
Do you recognise that He is Immanuel - God with us?
Do you submit to His Government?
Do you obey Him as Lord of your life?
Is He your Wonderful Counsellor?
Is He your Mighty God?
Is He your Everlasting Father?
Is He the Prince of Peace in your life?
If so, rejoice! His Government will never end. His Kingdom will endure forever. Of the increase of His Government and peace there will be no end. "The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this."
Dr. Peter Hammond
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa