STOVER: The prince of peace for Christmas

Published 12:06 pm Saturday, December 23, 2017

By LARRY STOVER | Praise Park Ministries Church of the Nazarene

We have been on a journey this month painting a portrait of the Messiah as mentioned in Isaiah 9:6.  The weeks of Advent leading up to Christmas are an exciting time for Christians as they prepare themselves spiritually for the arrival of Jesus Christ, the Messiah of the world.  Isaiah, the Prophet wrote, “For to us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government will be upon His shoulders, and He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.”

We have examined His role as Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, and Everlasting Father.  We conclude this pilgrimage by examining His character as the “Prince of Peace.”  This portrayal reveals two significant roles of Jesus as our Savior.  They are “His Majesty and His Mission.”

Isaiah said that He would be a “Prince,” meaning the son of a king, and heir to the throne. He would have authority in the kingdom second only to the king himself.  All the resources of the kingdom would be at His disposal.  He would have an active role in the daily affairs of that kingdom.

Our heavenly Father has been on a mission to reconcile the world back to Himself ever since Adam and Eve fell from grace, in the Garden of Eden, and sin entered into the world.  When God sent someone into the world to carry out this reconciliation, He did not send an archangel such as Michael or Gabriel.  Cherubim and Seraphim did not meet the standard either.  God chose to send His only begotten son.  Isaiah saw this as the ultimate gift of the Father.

The Gospel of John, chapter one, reveals this majesty. It reads, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

This is our Messiah and our Prince of Peace.  He is worthy of our praise, worship, and admiration.

The second aspect in this portrait of Jesus Christ is His “mission.”  Isaiah wrote in chapter 9, “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 Jews of His day were looking for someone to overthrow the Roman Empire.  Jesus told Pilate that His kingdom was not of this world.  The Messiah came to establish a “Kingdom of Peace” in the hearts of people.  People “walking in darkness” could experience His gift of salvation for those who would seek His forgiveness and reconciliation to the Father.

It is interesting to note that “peace” is identified in the mission of our Savior, both at the beginning and end of His first advent.  In Luke chapter two we hear the multitude of angels “praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest and on earth Peace good will to men.”  Jesus told his followers in John chapter fourteen, “My peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you, not as the world gives it, I give it to you.”

Our Messiah still brings a peace and calmness in the midst of the troubles of life.  He gives a spiritual and emotional tranquility unlike anyone or anything else.

There is so much talk about a lack of peace in the Middle East.  Negotiations are always a two-way street.  There has to be an offer and a response.

Spiritual peace is like that.  God is still offering Spiritual peace.  We can only receive it when we are reconciled to Him through our seeking His forgiveness and receiving His gift of salvation.  John 3:16 still resounds, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.”  The greatest gift you will receive this Christmas season is to accept the Messiah as your Savior.  Begin the most exciting adventure of your life building a personal relationship with our “Prince of Peace.”

Isaiah, the Prophet wrote, “For to us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government will be upon His shoulders, and He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.”  As you allow this portrait of Jesus, the Messiah,” to come alive in your spirit, life will be “Simply Beautiful” this Christmas.