Whether or not the liturgical calendar is even on your radar, we hope these devotions give you an opportunity to think about the incarnation, the reason Jesus came, and afford you the opportunity to dialogue with your family and others about the glory and greatness of Christ, our treasure and King.
This is week 2 of our Advent Devotionals for 2019. See week 1 here.
Jesus is Predicted
We saw last week the promise of Genesis 3:15. Today, let’s consider Isaiah 9:6 —
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.
This verse is a prophecy. The Book of Isaiah was written 700 years before the birth of Christ. 700. Years. Jesus is predicted.
There are literally hundreds of prophecies in the Old Testament concerning the Messiah that God promised and every one of them was perfectly fulfilled in the person and work of Jesus Christ. God didn’t just “know” these events would take place. He predicted them because from the beginning He planned them! What a glorious thought Christmas is when we see it in this light… The coming of Christ was never an afterthought but planned from the beginning.
Scripture is totally true and trustworthy. We see an example as we talk about the prophecies of Jesus. But an application for us is to not to treat the Bible trivially. This Book predicts the future! Are you trusting what it says? Are you reading it? Are you learning it?
Jesus is a Present
Isaiah 9:6 says “to us…a son is given.” In light of the New Testament, we know Jesus was given for all tribes, tongues, and nations. Let’s not look over this point: Jesus is a present. A Son is given. Jesus is a gift. A gift of God’s amazing grace!
A Son is given. Not just any Son, God’s Son. Isaiah wrote over 700 years before the birth of Christ. Nearly 200 years before Isaiah the kingdoms of Judah and Israel had split. The Northern Kingdom, Israel, would be taken over by the Assyrians during Isaiah’s time, they would intermarry, and by the time of Jesus they were called the “Samaritans”.
The people of Judah, the Jews, would go through another seven centuries of oppression, exile, and captivity — there would be few bright spots during this time.
But one day that would change. A light that would break the power of sin and death. Who is this light? The Lord Jesus Christ! To us a Son is given. Perhaps you can emphasize this Christmas season that one of the reasons you give gifts is because the greatest gift was given to us by God in Christ (see 2 Corinthians 9:15).
So, essentially, Isaiah says “Light is coming, Joy is coming.” But the focal point of this passage isn’t just temporal rescue. Yes, oppression against God’s people will come to an end sometime, but the culmination of this promise is Christ Himself.
Our greatest need this Christmas is the forgiveness of sins, but the greatest gift this Christmas is Christ Himself. We aren’t just “wiped clean” and forgiven; we are united with Christ Himself when we come to Him in faith.
Jesus is the treasure of Christmas. Are you treasuring Him this season?
This is the ending of the year and a good time to think about these sort of things:
- How have I delighted in God this last year?
- What ways may I increase my delight in God in 2020?
- What books might I think about reading to stretch my mind and heart on the things of God?
- What are my plans with God’s Word in this coming year that I might fuel my delight in God?
These are some things you may even consider writing down….
Jesus Deserves Praise
Consider how Isaiah describes Jesus:
- The Government will be upon His shoulders — Jesus is the King who left His throne to rescue His people.
- Wonderful Counselor — Oh, the infinite riches of the manifold wisdom of Christ! God’s Word is our counsel because Christ is the author of it! He’s the author, producer, director, and main character!
- Mighty God — Jesus is God. The second most often cited Old Testament book in the New Testament is the book of Isaiah. This prophecy of Isaiah is said by some Jews to refer to King Hezekiah or King Josiah. There’s a problem with that. Even though they were good kings, they were sinners. They were NOT God. But Jesus is God. God Himself stepped down to this broken fallen mess, to redeem those who are in rebellion against Him. Jesus deserves praise.
- Everlasting Father — This doesn’t mean He is the Father. He is God the Son. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three distinct persons that make up the Godhead. Equal in essence but different in person. This text refers to Jesus’ disposition towards His people. He is Kind. He is fatherly, and He is eternal.
- Prince of Peace — Christ brings peace to God and man in His redeeming work. We are born in rebellion and hostility towards God. We are born enemies of God. But peace is available through Jesus.
Now, He doesn’t offer peace on our terms but His. And His terms are this: total surrender. Laying down all that we are and turning away from any sort of self-trust or self-righteousness. Repenting of our sin against God and coming to Christ in faith. Furthermore, the second Advent of Christ signals an end of peace for all those who rebel against Him (see Rev. 19:11–16).
Are you trusting Christ’s terms of peace? Are you celebrating Him? Is He your and your family’s treasure?