“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” (Isaiah 9:6-7 NKJ)
In the verses that are quoted above we see that the Child that is prophesied here is no ordinary child. Though this Child is fully human in every sense of the word, fully possessing a human nature having both body and soul, He is also described in these verses in terms that reveal He is also true God. He will be called among other names, “Mighty God, Everlasting Father.” Isaiah prophesied the coming of this Child about 150 years before the fall of Jerusalem in 587 B.C., during reign of king Ahaz of Judah, or about 730 years before His actual birth. This Child that is born to us, a Son who is given to us, is Jesus Christ. From these verses we are not only told who Jesus Christ is; that He is a true and righteous man (Concerning the Kingdom He will rule over, He will “order it and establish it with judgment and justice . . . forever”) and true God; we also are told why He came. This is indicated by the name “Prince of Peace.”
Yet, was it necessary for the Child born to us be very man and very God? The simple answer is, “Yes” – however, a simple answer just won’t suffice. Though it was necessary, we must always remember God was under no obligation to save sinners from the wrath to come as a result of sin. So it is by God’s grace alone, according to His eternal plan to save and redeem a people to Himself. It is with that in mind, we will consider three reasons why the Child born to us had to be very man and very God: first, mankind’s sin nature; in his fallen state as a result of our first parent’s (Adam and Eve) disobedience, mankind stands guilty before a holy God, sentenced to eternal torment of Hell; more than that, by nature mankind is in rebellion against God, his Creator, no one seeks after God, much less seek to save himself, except on his own terms and in his own way.
The second reason is mankind’s inability to save himself. He is unable to meet the righteous requirements to fully and completely satisfy God’s justice. In Romans 3:10-12, we learn that in mankind’s natural state there is no one who is righteous, none that is good. In other words, because of his sinful state he is hopelessly lost and condemned because of his sinful state. Therefore, it is necessary that a substitute is provided that meets all the righteous requirements of the law and be able endure the eternal punishment for sinners to satisfy God’s justice. This leads us to the third reason.
Because of the requirements demanded to satisfy God’s justice and no mere man is able to meet those requirements, nor any other creature for that matter, God graciously sent His only begotten Son to take on Him the very nature of man in order to bear God’s eternal wrath against the sins of all His people, whom He chose from before the foundations of the world. That person who God sent (the Child) is Jesus Christ. He was and is a true and righteous man and true God; one person, who is very man and very God. By the power of His Godhead Jesus Christ bore in His manhood the burden of God’s wrath, and so obtained for and restored to us righteousness and life (Heidelberg Catechism #17). He was born to make satisfaction for the sins of all who belong Him, all who are in Him by true faith alone – and that is exactly what He did!
Jesus Christ is called the Prince of Peace for He reconciled God and sinners in His one atoning sacrifice on the cross, about 33 years after His birth. And because He rose again from the dead, and ascended into heaven to sit at the right hand of His Father, He rules over His kingdom forever, “upon the throne David.” By His death and resurrection, sinners like you and me, have an eternal hope, the hope of eternal life. By grace through faith in Jesus Christ, we come in repentance of our sins, embracing with a believing heart all the benefits the Child born to us and the Son given to us obtained not only for others, but also for us; that is, the forgiveness of sins, righteousness, salvation and everlasting life. May the joy, peace and life that is found in Christ alone be found in you and your loved ones this Christmas season and forever to the glory of God! – Soli Deo Gloria!