Summary: Sermon Series going through the names given in Isaiah 9:1-7 to the future Messiah Jesus. Heavily Adapted from a series offered by Sermon Central.
Prince of Peace
CCCAG Christmas Eve, 2019
Scripture- Isaiah 9
If you're visiting with us here tonight this is the last of a four part series where we went through the four names given to Jesus in Isaiah 9.
We started off with talking about Jesus being our wonderful counselor , our guide, and the one who lights our path in life.
We then spoke about Jesus being our mighty God and giving us the strength, power, and spiritual vitality that we all need to live in today's chaotic world.
This last Sunday we talked about Jesus being our everlasting father. We emphasized how Jesus is the perfect example of manhood, fatherhood, and someone we could aspire to be like and would never fail us.
This evening we're going to complete this series by talking about Jesus being the Prince of peace.
When we talk about peace, I'm reminded of a character from a movie called The Princess Bride. If you've never seen this movie, it’s a character driven fantasy comedy that is famous for its one liners and memorable characters. One of them is always correcting what other people say with the phrase “You keep using that word, but I don't think you really know what it means”
Sometimes the word peace can be just like that. If you were to go out and talk to 100 people, you'll probably get 400 definitions of what peace means.
I want to clear some of that up tonight and explain what this nebulous word peace means in the eyes of God. Since God is the source of all existence and reality, we should go to HIM first about what words like peace really mean.
Turn in your bibles to Isaiah Chapter 9 and we're going to read a few of the verses there.
2 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.
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.
7 Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end.
A little background about the time in history when Isaiah spoke his prophecies.
Isaiah is speaking to a people that for the last 100 years have never known any sort of peace. The northern Kingdom of Israel has been in a constant state of war because of the rebellion and disobedience against God. Over and over again God sends people known as Prophets to warn them of coming disaster and over and over again they reject the prophet's words and sometimes even kill them
Then disaster strikes and their nation is overrun by another nation. Rinse, wash, repeat- this has been what life has been like in this area of the Middle East during Isaiah’s life.
That's just the brief background of the kind of people that Isaiah was speaking to- are people who longed for some sense of peace in their lives.
Peace for them would have simply meant an absence of conflict or even some sense or feeling of security.
Very often that is how peace is used in our world today.
How many times this last year have we turned on the news only to hear about a new shooting, or a terrorist attack, or what the current drama in Washington is today.
One of the things I hear most often when the subject of todays news comes up is a sentiment- “Can’t we all just get along?” It seems if you have an opinion about something, there is always someone, somewhere who is ready and willing to destroy you for voicing it. Our elected officials, people who are supposed to be leading us, aren’t any better.
This last year, if feels like we all regressed to the kind of drama we had in middle and high school.
The good news is- God desires us to live in peace.
But peace isn’t just the absence of conflict. Let me illustrate from the bible.
About 400 years before the events in Isaiah, Israel is facing a very similar problem with neighboring nations coming in and killing and plundering the people who are living in that area. The people began to cry out for God's mercy and deliverance from this constant state of conflict and war. God visits a man called Gideon and tells Gideon that he is going to use him to deliver his people.
In early Old Testament religious thought, it was believed that anyone who was visited by God in a physical presence would immediately be killed. So Gideon is terrified thinking he is going to drop dead any second.