What leader could possible bear the weight of governing the world upon their shoulders?
Yet that is what Isaiah says Jesus is able to do. His parting words to his disciples as he ascended to heaven to reign at the right hand of God were, “All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me” (Matt 28).
Christ’s birth is a gift, says Isaiah: a gift the world so desperately needs. It is a child, the Son of God, on whom the future of all things depends.
The child will grow to be a man. And in a public ministry that will be full of revelations, his identity will be made known. He is both the new-born child in the manger – with all the frailty of that infant human form – and yet, incredibly, also Mighty God. He is born into the world as a child to human parents– his human life has a beginning – but he has existed for all time with the Eternal Father. He is fully human, yet also fully God.
Prince of Peace. We long for peace on earth. But there can only be peace in our human relationships when we have made peace with God and Jesus comes to make that possible.
This Christmas, where is our hope? The gospel has always pointed us to Jesus – to this child born in Bethlehem two thousand years ago. Jesus is the one to whom God has given all power and authority, the one who has come to put the world right. It is God’s incredible gift to us this Christmas, one who comes to bring peace to our troubled lives and world.
May we today embrace the incredible gift of God and know peace with God through Jesus.