If you were God and you had a very important message for the human race, how would you say it? Would you use a loud, booming voice from heaven? W ould you broadcast it on every television channel at once? W ould you write the message across the sky? Or would you spread the news on social media?
God sent the message through a person, delivered in a manger, nailed to a cross and then raised up from the grave. In fact, Jesus is God’s message. Verses 1 and 14 of John 1 say, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God, The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only.”
Christ was before Bethlehem. He said in John 8:58, “Before Abraham was born, I AM!” Jesus appears in the first verse of the Bible and remains throughout the Old Testament until His appearance in the flesh.
“He became flesh” is the key to understanding the true meaning of Christmas. The prophet Isaiah, 760 years before Christ’s birth in Bethlehem, made a very clear distinction when he said, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given” (Isaiah 9:6). A child was born but a son was given .
God takes Isaiah into the future and shows him the people of the world who, for a long time, walked in darkness and in the shadow of death. Suddenly they see a great light, a light which will set them free and break their chains of bondage, both physical and spiritual.
“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:2,6)
In Matthew 1:23 , we have a direct quote from Isaiah 7:14. “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him E mmanuel, which means ‘God with us’.” Here, the name E mmanuel is clearly describing the divinity of Christ. But let’s look at four other names given to the child in Bethlehem.
Wonderful Counselor – in Hebrew, Pele Yoetz . Christ is not our prosecutor, but our counselor and defender.
Mighty God – in Hebrew, El Gibbor . Jesus is given the name as God!
Everlasting Father – in Hebrew, Abhi Ad which is literally translated as “Father of Eternity.”
Prince of Peace – in Hebrew, Sar Shalom . Shalom means more than the peace obtained from the absence of war. It includes prosperity, well-being, harmony, peace in one’s heart and peace with God. It is the perfect state of being.
God, in the person of His S on, came to this world in the flesh as a poor , humble child to save the world and bring peace. Have you found the Prince of Peace yet?
Pastor Joseph Hovsepian