Today’s reading is drawn from Isaiah 9:6-7.
ISAIAH, transfixed by the Spirit of God on the time in the future when the Messiah would become flesh and blood, gives us His names. What names they are! They are all descriptions of God’s character. Let’s consider each one.
Wonderful Counselor. “Wonderful” is a word used to describe something or someone out of the ordinary and remarkable in nature. The emphasis here is on God’s counsel. It is a remarkable, extraordinary kind of counsel. He will be effective in planning and in executing His plan. The plan that goes all the way back to eternity past ran its course during Christ’s life on earth, and it will continue to do so during His ultimate reign in the Kingdom that is yet to come. His plan is comprehensive and effective. Furthermore, the counsel that He gives is always right. You will never get weak or faulty counsel from the Lord. You will read His Word and find promises that you can bank on. You can trust Him.
Mighty God. Not only is this Messiah someone whose counsel is always right, but He is also strong enough to overcome all opposition. He’s not only a wonder of a planner, but He is also a powerful implementer. He is superior to all others in strength. Think of the power He has over all the things that try to destroy us—Satan, sin, disease, death. None of them intimidate the Messiah.
Everlasting Father. The Messiah is the kind of father who cares for those who can’t take care of them-selves and disciplines those who need to be reproved. He is tender, faithful, a guardian, a provider, a loyal presence. All these things we want in a father. God is everlastingly that kind of father, full of tender mercies.
Prince of Peace. Christ conquers and removes all of the things that take away peace. When He serves as King above all who may call themselves king now, peace will reign, and there will be no end to it. We cannot pull that off. We may inscribe Isaiah’s words on the wall outside the United Nations building, but what a joke. Washington, DC, has a large assortment of peace monuments—we build one after every war. How foolish to think that men and women can make peace happen.
Peace among human beings is only possible because the Prince of Peace has made the way for our peace with God. Ephesians 2:14-16 reminds us that “Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us. . . . Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death on the cross.”
He made peace possible at the Cross. He came, He died, He picked up the entire amount of our debts—centuries of sin—and He paid the complete penalty that we deserved. He took the nails we should have gotten. He wore the thorns that should have crushed down on us. With His blood we are healed. He leaves us with nothing to do but accept the gift. He is our peace.
[call out text: He leaves us with nothing to do but accept the gift.]