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"For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the
government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful
Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace." (NASB)
Susan loves the Christmas season and during this time of year
I relinquish any pretence of control in our household. While we all
pretend that I’m in charge the rest of the year, there is no doubt that
she is in charge during this season. I’ve learned to defer to her
on most things that relate to our celebration of Christmas. She usually
puts up our Christmas tree on the Friday following Thanksgiving and will
not all us to take it down before New Year’s Day. These dates are
carved in stone. She begins her Christmas shopping on December 26th
each year, because, after all, the cards and decorations are half-price
then and throughout the year she picks up a gift here and a gift there.
Did I mention that she loves Christmas?
Slowly gifts begin to appear throughout the elongated time our
tree is up and before long, it is filled with gifts from friends and relatives.
The Christmas drama doesn’t leave me with a sense of anticipation like
it did when I was a child, but it still makes me wonder what lies beneath
the surface of those smartly wrapped gifts. It is with that sense
of anticipation of a child on Christmas Eve that we approach this morning’s
Just a moment ago, we lit the Prophesy candle. Just as we
have to wait for Christmas morning, those who first heard Isaiah’s prophesy
had to wait for its fulfillment. This holiday season we will mark the passage
of time with the aid of the advent candle, and examining the significance
of each week. This week with the prophesy candle, the following weeks
with the Bethlehem, shepherd, angel and the Christ candles. The prophesy
candle reminds us that generations of people waited for the fulfillment
of Isaiah’s prophesy. Their wait, of course, was much longer and
more painful than ours. The purpose of this candle in the Advent
calendar is more than drawing attention to the wait, it is to remind us
that the Incarnation was not a divine afterthought–God intended to become
man and redeem the world with His precious blood from before time.
Rev. 13:8 refers to Jesus as “the Lamb that was slain from the creation
of the world.” (NIV)
Isaiah says that the child “will be born to us.” With that
phrase, he affirms the humanity of Jesus. But he says more than just
that–he also writes, “a son will be given to us.” The addition of
the second phrase clarifies the first. Jesus was born of a woman–He
was born to us, but His birth was of divine origin–He was given to us.
Long before a baby cried in a manger in Bethlehem, the prophet
said that this would be a unique child. A human child, yes, but a
divine child also.
Paul explained it this way in Philip. 2:6-8. “who, although
He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing
to be grasped,  but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant,
and being made in the likeness of men.  And being found in appearance
as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross.” Before Jesus “emptied Himself” at the Incarnation,
Isaiah said he would do it.
Isaiah was more explicit about the virgin birth in Isaiah 7:14
when he wrote, "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold,
a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name
Luke, the physician, affirmed Isaiah’s prophesy in Acts 13:23,
when he wrote, "From the offspring of this man, according to promise,
God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus,” Dr. Luke told the story of
the immaculate conception this way: Luke 1:26-31 NASB “Now in the
sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee, called
Nazareth,  to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the
descendants of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.  And coming in,
he said to her, ‘Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.’  But she
was greatly troubled at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of
salutation this might be.  And the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid,
Mary; for you have found favor with God.  And behold, you will conceive
in your womb, and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus.’”
Today as we behold the Prophecy candle, we remember that Isaiah
told us that Jesus birth would be unique. Shall we spend the morning
reflecting upon the amazing circumstances surrounding Jesus’ birth.
It was no ordinary birth–He was born of a virgin. A fact that was
foretold by the Prophet Isaiah and later confirmed by Dr. Luke.
Isaiah also wrote, “And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace."
He is the Wonderful Counselor. Colossians 2:2-3 says, “that
their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and
attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding,
resulting in a true knowledge of God's mystery, that is, Christ Himself,
 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (NASB)
He is the Mighty God. Acts 20:28 “Be on guard for yourselves
and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers,
to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.”
(NASB) and Titus 2:13 says, looking for the blessed hope and the
appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus,” (NASB)
Matthew 11:27 says, "All things have been handed over to Me by
My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone
know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal
He is the Eternal Father. Hebrews 2:13 says, “And
again, ‘I WILL PUT MY TRUST IN HIM.’ And again, ‘BEHOLD, I AND THE CHILDREN
WHOM GOD HAS GIVEN ME.’” (NASB) and Colossians 1:16-17
says, “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and
on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers
or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. 
He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” (NASB)
His is the Prince of Peace. Ephesians 2:14 says, “For He
Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the
barrier of the dividing wall,” (NASB)
In other places, Isaiah prophesied the manner of his birth (Isa
7:14) that he would have a forerunner preparing His way, (Isa 40:3) what
His mission would be (Isa 61:1), and the nature of His ministry (Isa 53:4)
and His death (Isa 52-3).
The prophet Micah foretold the place of His birth (Mic 5:2).
The Psalmist predicted that He’d be rejected by men (Psa 118:22) the nature
of His death (Psa 22), that he would raise from the dead (Psa 16:10) and
that He would ascend into heaven (Psa 68:18).
Long before He was born, Moses said He’d be a prophet (Deut 18:15-18)
David said He’d be a priest (Psalm 110:4) and they both agreed he’d be
a king (Psa 2:6, Num 24:17).
As we look at the lone light emanating from the prophecy candle,
we’re reminded that men of old had to wait to celebrate His birth.
But we’re also reminded that it was worth the wait. Jesus was all
they said He’d be, and more. The prophets were right on—they correctly
predicted that He would come and even the details surrounding His coming.
Today, we’re reminded that they had to wait, but I remind you
that you don’t have to. Oh, you’ll have to wait ‘til Christmas to
unwrap the presents under your tree, but you don’t have to wait to accept
the greatest gift of all. Today you can know the fulfillment of all
these prophesies personally.
Romans 10:9 says, “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as
Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you
will be saved;” (NASB) Would you confess Him as your Lord and accept Him
as your Savior today?