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For to us a child is born, to us a son is given....

posted 8 Dec 2015, 07:51 by Bert Weenink

It is a custom in Holland, that, whenever a baby is born, the parents send a birth announcement card to all their relatives and friends. On this ‘birth-card’ the parents will put the name of the new baby, its weight, length and other details such as the address of the family and the times when mother and baby are resting.

 

The prophet Isaiah did something similar regarding the birth of the Lord Jesus, with the difference that he wasn’t the parent, he was just the messenger. The other amazing fact about Isaiah’s ‘card’ is that he  sent it 700 years before Jesus was actually born!

 

So what details do we find on Isaiah’s card?

 

1. The birth would be unusual

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son….. I don’t know what Isaiah thought when he wrote this, but he was spot on: "How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?" The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.

….and will call him Immanuel. Did Isaiah get the name wrong? No, not really. The angel who appeared to Joseph in a dream used Isaiah’s words and referred to the name Immanuel. The name means ‘God with us’, and that is exactly what happened when Jesus was born—God came among us.

 

2. The birth would be like a light shining into the darkness.

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. Jesus confirmed later that this is one of the reasons why He had come: When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

 

3. The birth would be for all

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given…

It is as if this child is a gift, a gift from God to us. That is exactly what Jesus is, God’s gift to a people in need: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. That is why the angel announced the birth of Jesus in this way to the shepherds: But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. The greatest gift ever given was when the Father gave His Son to us and when Jesus gave His life for us.

 

4. The one to be born would be very special

Isaiah talks about the extent of Jesus’ ministry. He describes how the government will be on his shoulders. Isaiah also said that Jesus will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

This reminds us that Jesus is so much more than a helpless baby in a manger. He is the One who came to rule the world.

He is a wonderful counsellor, always able and willing to help those who call on Him in their time of need.

He is Mighty God—Jesus became man without ceasing to be God, beyond our understanding, yet still true. That baby in Bethlehem, that man on the cross, He is God.

He is also the everlasting Father. No, the Son is not the Father, and yet the Son and the Father are one, and he who has seen the Son has seen the Father. The Father reaches out to us through Jesus, a Father who will never leave us or abandon us, for He is the everlasting Father. And finally, He is the Prince of Peace. Through Him we have peace with God and through Him we receive the peace of God.

 

One day every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord! Happy the person who recognises and acknowledges Jesus as Saviour and Lord today.

 

Wishing you a Christ-centred Christmas,

Pastor Bert

 

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