Christian MPs and Peers from across the political spectrum have come together to share the everlasting hope that Christmas brings, through a recording of the prophecy about Jesus in Isaiah 9.
Isaiah 9:6-7 is one of the most familiar Old Testament prophecies. God promised to provide an extraordinary King and 700 years later the prophecy was fulfilled in Jesus Christ.
He was born in very humble circumstances. And yet this was no ordinary child, but an extraordinary King given to us. As v6 says ‘For to us a child is born, to us a son is given and the government will be on his shoulders.’
So what do we know about this King? Names tell us a lot about a person. Parents can agonise over what to call their children – looking at meanings, thinking about initials, trying to work out if the name still works if their son or daughter becomes Prime Minister. And this King was to be called: ‘Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.’
Every now and then you find a politician who is described as possessing Messiah-like qualities and yet none come close to Jesus Christ who was the ‘Wonderful Counsellor’. Those who heard Jesus in his day marvelled at his wisdom and teaching. To this day, no political leader has had as much impact upon history as the one born in Bethlehem’s manger.
And he’s not just wise, he’s powerful too. His name is ‘Mighty God’ and in his ministry Jesus demonstrates that he had power over nature, sickness, evil and even death itself.
And he’s also the ‘Everlasting Father’, which is perhaps even more surprising. We don’t tend to think of Jesus Christ as a Father. And yet he is the Father of the universe – the creator of heaven and earth. Whilst he was there at the start, his reign as King will also continue for ever and ever. Isaiah writes ‘of the greatness of his government there will be no end.’ (v7)
And his final name is the ‘Prince of Peace’. We live in a world marred by conflict, between each other and between us and God. And it’s into this world that God sent his son Jesus Christ, as the Prince of Peace to deal with our broken relationship with him. God gave up his own Son to die, on a cross, in our place, so that we could be reconciled to God.
Jesus Christ is an extraordinary King. And this Christmas we’re reminded of the incredible gift he offers us – a place in his eternal kingdom. A kingdom marked with justice and righteousness. A kingdom that is better than anything this world can offer.
And like the best gifts, God’s gift comes with a guarantee: ‘The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.’ (v7)
If you would like to hear a talk on this passage from one of our recent chapel services, you can listen to it below.