Jeremy Simonson | The Voice of Zion December 2023 - What Does the Bible Say Article --
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, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. – Isaiah 9:6
Isn’t the knowledge that this prophecy written by Isaiah was fulfilled and God’s Son was born into the world on our behalf a joyous Christmas greeting? Our Saviour came to bear our sins, giving us the hope of eternal life in heaven. As the busyness of the Christmas season surrounds us with its many reasons for joy, let us pause for a moment around this prophecy from the Old Testament, the time before Jesus was born.
A Child Is Born!
Many of us have had the opportunity to be present during the time when a family is anticipating the arrival of a new baby. The anticipation builds as the due date draws near: there are names to be picked, hospital bag to be packed, and maybe even a new outfit bought for the new one to wear home from the hospital.
Can you imagine the anticipation felt by the Old Testament believers who were living around the time when Jesus was born? Not only was this arrival a new gift from God for the family to love, but also the Redeemer for the sins of all humankind was to be born! We can see how it was for our brother in faith Simeon, how the Holy Ghost revealed to him that he would see Christ before he died, and when the Spirit led him to the temple, he was able to see his Lord and Savior.
What did Simeon do? “He took him up in his arms and blessed God.” Our brother rejoiced, we see from his speech that his heart was full, his eyes had seen the salvation that God had prepared for all people, “A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.”
Unto Us a Son Is Given
Don’t the words of the header for this paragraph give us the reason for our joy? The Lord and Savior was given on our behalf to die for our sins. Isaiah was also given to prophecy regarding this happening as was recorded later in the book of Isaiah: “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers dumb, so opened he not his mouth” (53:7). Here Isaiah prophesied about that time when Jesus was being tried before the rulers of His time and eventually was led away to Golgotha to die on the cross, as a sacrifice for our sins.
This prophecy is also the portion that the Ethiopian eunuch had Philip teach him about, and the eunuch received the hope of eternal life in heaven. This message of forgiveness gives us the comforting feeling of peace even at Christmas time and makes us pray that all people would be as the eunuch, desiring Christmas peace for their own heart.
Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace
I can’t help but hear the familiar chorus from Handel’s Messiah as I read this text. Along with it comes many memories of familiar Christmas songs of hope and joy playing in the house, as the family prepares for Christmas. Traditional Christmas treats are baking, filling the house with delicious aromas, kids are racing around in excitement, cleaning needs to be done, clothes to be found and washed, and although there may be snow and cold outside, the house and hearts are warmed with the joy of Christmas.
Maybe this Christmas joy felt in the heart of a believer is a taste of what Isaiah has written, where we can know and be confident that our Lord and God is “Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
Dear ones, don’t we also know that Christmas can be a time of stress or sorrow for those who are experiencing trials and difficulties in life? This fulfilled prophesy of Isaiah even reaches out to you, dear one, in your place of watching. Be comforted and know that God is “The mighty God.” He knows all and sees all, and He even knows you so intimately that He sees when a hair falls from your head. Trust that He is “The everlasting Father.” The sorrows of this time may seem difficult, but they too will pass as God allows, and God will be with you not only in this difficulty, but also when it is done and forever after.
As we look forward to Christmas, allow yourself the opportunity to embrace the peace and joy that we own as believers. Continue to endeavor putting sin away as it attaches, leaving a place for the Prince of Peace to reign in your hearts. May the peace of Christmas be with you now and always.