Summary: the first in our advent series
What is in a Name?
I have stated before that I was going to do a sermon series for the month of Thanksgiving and then for the month of Christmas and so today we begin the series for Christmas. In doing so we will explore and celebrate Advent. The word “advent” means coming. . Christians know and celebrate the season of Advent as a time of preparation and reflection in anticipation of Christmas, the celebration of Christ’s BIRTH. Throughout the Advent season, Christians also acknowledge and anticipate the promised second coming of JESUS CHRIST
Advent beings the Sunday closest to November 30th and contains the four Sundays before Christmas Day. The season can range anywhere from 23 to 28 days. As we ponder and anticipate the festival of Christmas, we can think of this coming in three ways:
The coming of the King as a human child and we do so on Christmas day.
Advent fills us with the coming of the King in Word and Spirit, which we witness, this year round.
Advent invites us to reflect on the second coming of the King.
Today we are going to look at a scripture passage that many think of as a Christmas scripture, as did I, but as I studied this passage I came across some things that made me think and ponder on them. Things such as up to verse three is referring to a time when JESUS would walk on this earth but then at verse three many scholars believe the prophet passes over a period of time that we call the church age and goes directly to the second coming of JESUS. Matter of fact one scholar tells you who some of those are and gives his description of why that could not be but then he skips over from the first coming and goes directly into a time of the second coming. Many of the scholars believe that verse six are name of JESUS are given for future references such as at the second coming. But as for me I see a double prophecy in that yes some of this did happen then and some of this will happen in the future. From verse one to verse seven we can ascribe on of the names in verse six to. I believe that in these seven verses we have the past of the nation of Israel, the present past in the fact that JESUS was born and the future of Israel in that one day my LORD will come back and set up HIS kingdom.
The prophet in this scripture saw the past and the future of his nation. Today we can know the past and we can know the future as well. So let us look at what is in a name.
In verse six we see a list of names for JESUS: wonderful, counselor, mighty GOD, eternal FATHER, Prince of Peace. Before we ascribe a name to the verses I must lay out before you what the prophet saw. He knew that his nation had forsaken the LORD GOD and he was saddened. Isaiah though being a prophet GOD allowed him to see and to know the future of his nation. In doing so we see that Zebulan and Naphtali were places of anguish and gloom. Here they would mix religious traditions with pagan worship. We see those who walked in darkness would see a great light and that this light will shine on them. We will need to go to the book of Matthew for further help on explaining these verses and please understand that there might be a little problem with the language, not because of the version of the bible we have but because of where they were taken from. One is from the earliest writings and the other is a revelation from the HOLY SPIRIT so we will not have a word for word translation. Now lets ascribe a name to each verse or to a set of verses.
What a terrible thing it is what you are in darkness and you cannot see where you are going or what you are doing. What a terrible thing to think that this is all there is to life: disappointment, depression, sorrow and no hope for tomorrow. It is not so wonderful to think that all we have is what this old world has to offer. This name wonderful was not given to HIM by GOD but rather those who knows what HE has done for them call HIM wonderful.
Isaiah calls HIM wonderful because HE is the one that gave light to his nation. HE is the one who delivered his nation from sin and destruction. HE is called wonderful because HE became flesh and dwelt among you and I. HE is called wonderful because HE liberates me from sin, death and hell. I call HIM wonderful because HE died on a cross to set me free. I call HIM wonderful because when all is said and done I know I have won the victory because HE is WONDERFUL in the future when HE places Satan under lock and key in hell, forever and ever.