LinusWell, it is about Christmas time and everyone is in full cheer! (Even though it is just now December 1)  All of the Christmas specials are beginning to come on including a seemingly infinite number of Hallmark Christmas movies that I am sure to steer clear of.  There are a few movies that I look forward to every year including the 3 Santa Clause movies starring Tim Allen, Jingle All the Way, A Christmas Story, and  A Charlie Brown Christmas.

The real reason I like the Charlie Brown movie is because of its quoting scripture (Luke 2:8-14).  I enjoy the part of the movie where all the lights are down and the spotlight is on Linus and he begins to explain the real meaning of Christmas.  It is a time where Scripture is read aloud and thousands are hearing it.

Another scripture that is often quoted during this time is Isaiah 9:6 “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.  And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”  

It is a great verse that has a sense of rhythm that is both soothing, powerful, and highly theological.  But a question must be asked.  One must note the beginning of the verse and that the word “For” begins this well-known section.

What’s the “For” for?

The four verses that lead up to this “For,” are powerful as well and are the reason that we can rejoice in this child being born.  Verse 2-4 answer the “So What?” question that people may ask.  They say:

“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.  You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as men rejoice when dividing the plunder.  For as in the day of Midian’s defeat, you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor.  Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire.”

Why is Christmas such a big deal?  Why is a single child’s birth celebrated across so many different cultures and regions?  Because things are different because of this child.

Because of this child, “on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.”  Where there was no hope, there is now joy and excitement.  When all seemed dark and without good, a light has shown.  It pierces the darkness.  It calls to everyone of us.  1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness and into his wonderful light.”  Not only are we in the darkness and called out, but we are the darkness.  We must run toward the light so that we will be children of light. Ephesians 5:8 “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.  Live as children of light.”  This is where the Wonderful Counselor comes into play.  That he can counsel us out of the darkness into something that we have never known before.  We live in the light, surrounded by the light, and engulfed in the light because of this child.

Because of this child, “You have…increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest.”  No longer does there have to be sadness, depression, or loneliness.  There is one that can and should be celebrated.  Jesus said in John 16:24 “Until now you have not asked for anything in my name.  Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” Also, John 15:11 “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”  Our joy is only complete in Jesus.  This is where Mighty God comes into play, in that he is mighty enough to provide for us a complete joy.  We would not know true joy unless this child were born.  Therefore we rejoice in our complete joy because of this child.

Because of this child, “you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor.”  That which held us back, sin, is now broken.  The chains are gone.  The yoke is no longer heavy.  Matthew 11:30 “For my yoke is easy and my burden light.”  We are free.  We could not escape the rod of sin but now it is broken.  Romans 6:18 “You have been set free from sin and have become slaves of righteousness.”  This is where the Everlasting Father comes in.  We have been set free from that which binds our eternal life.  Only the Eternal Father can free his children.  We are no longer bound by the evil in this world, but can rejoice and celebrate our freedom because of this child.

Because of this child, ” Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire.”  The war is over!  The battle has been won between that which is good and that which is evil.  After Satan is released from his prison and goes about the world gathering others for battle, it says in Revelation 20:9-10 “But fire came down from heaven and devoured them.  And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown.  They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”   We know the end of history.  We are more than victors.  We are more than conquerors.  Romans 8:37 “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”  Finally, this is where the Prince of Peace shines brightest.  It is only through Jesus that there will be full peace in this world.  It is not because of us or our own power that we are light, that our joy is complete, that we are free, or that the battle is over…it is because of this child.

It is this child that will later sacrifice himself for all mankind.  Isaiah 9:6 is a powerful verse, but when read with the previous verses, its power is magnified.  We can see that this child was born for all mankind and for you and me personally.  I will conclude with simply putting all of these verses from Isaiah chapter 9 verses 2 through 6 together and include verse 7.

Isaiah 9:2-7

“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.  You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as men rejoice when dividing the plunder.  For as in the day of Midian’s defeat, you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor.  Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire.  For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.  And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of his government there will be no end.  He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.  The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.”

In Christ’s Love,

Josh

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Comments
  1. Stephen Hughes says:

    Not that every Christmas I’ve had as been in my top ten, but I do love his episode of Charlie Brown

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