Advent: December 17th
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. (Isaiah 9:6-7 ESV)
In the previous chapter (Isaiah 8), God warns both the king of Israel and the king of Judah that he will bring an Assyrian invasion upon them because of their sin and disobedience (8:5-8). But God promises he will not fully nor utterly abandon his people. “But there will be no gloom for her who was in anguish” (9:1). God promises to someday send someone to deliver his people from all their greatest enemies, and that this deliverance will come through the birth of a child. And that when this child is born “the government shall be upon his shoulder.” That is, he shall be King over all kings and Lord over all lords. He will rule over all nations, “and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Do not miss the significance of some of these titles--Mighty God, Everlasting Father. This is what every false religion gets wrong. Jesus is not just a great prophet. Jesus is not just the Son of God. When Mary held Jesus in her arms, she was holding God Himself—the very One who spoke all things into existence by the power of His word (Genesis 1). The angels themselves echo the words of Isaiah 9 when proclaiming the birth of Christ to the shepherds. “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given” (Isaiah 9:6; Lk. 2:11). This is the point the apostle John makes in the opening words of his gospel when he writes, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:1, 14). The Word, who is God, became flesh and dwelt among us. Advent is not just about God sending someone into the world to save us from our sins. Advent is about God Himself stepping into our world to deliver us from the power of sin, Satan, and death, to fix what humanity had ruined.
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