Our family will soon welcome a new grandchild. Today the gender of the child is often known long before they arrive, and the parents take on the task of choosing a name. This is an important decision that has not been taken lightly by our children. They have carefully researched, discussed, sought ideas from family and settled upon the name that their son will be known by throughout his life.
We will soon celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. God chose the name for His Son. In Matthew 1:20-22 we read that an angel of the Lord who appeared to Joseph in a dream told him that Mary would have a son. “You are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” Although some might think of “Christ” as Jesus’ last name, it actually comes from the Greek word Christos meaning “anointed one” or “chosen one” This is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word Mashiach, or “Messiah.” So “Christ” is his title, signifying Jesus was sent from God to be a King and Deliverer. Jesus’ birth was prophesied by Isaiah almost 700 years before Jesus was born. In his prophecy we read from Isaiah 9:6 (NLT) “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.”
Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of this prophecy as we see in the Scriptures.
Wonderful – So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 5:21 (NLT)
Counselor – I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. Psalm 32:8 (NIV)
Not only is Jesus Christ the anointed one – the Messiah – the Wonderful Counselor, He is Mighty God. Jesus is the Spirit of God in human flesh. Although Jesus faced the same human experiences we do, He had power that we do not. He carefully and wisely chose how to use that power in ways that would bring glory to God.
Mighty God – Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Ephesians 3:20 (NLT)
Another prophecy Isaiah spoke about Jesus is that He is Everlasting Father. The thought of something being everlasting is difficult to comprehend, especially in our increasingly “disposable” society. Again, in the scriptures we read of God’s everlasting love, everlasting righteousness, and everlasting kindness. He is our everlasting light and through faith in him, we are given everlasting life.
Everlasting Father – Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. Isaiah 40:28 (NIV)
Peace comes from God. Just as He offers us the gift of salvation, He gives us the gift of peace. That gift came in the form of the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ. This peace is not of the world – not an artificial peace that is dependent upon our worthiness or our circumstance. It is a peace that exceeds anything we can understand. It is a peace that guards our hearts. It is true peace – true rest of spirit, mind and body. Jesus speaks this peace to us over and over again in the Scriptures.
Prince of Peace – I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. John 14:27 (NLT)
The Christmas holiday can become a time of focusing on decorating, cooking, shopping and preparing for a day with family and friends. Perhaps you have family traditions that have endured through the years. Our family tradition started 29 years ago. My young daughter suggested that we build a manger from some leftover fence wood and stage a live nativity scene in our front yard on Christmas eve. Through the years we have added family members, spouses of our children, our grandchildren, even in-laws as we dress as shepherds and wise men, Mary and Joseph, and an angel. We quietly focus on the baby Jesus as worshipful music plays. Many drive slowly by, others walk to our home and as they focus on the true meaning of Christmas, our prayer is that they will come to personally know Jesus Christ the Messiah – Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Isaiah 26:3 (NLT)
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