“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given….” — Isaiah 9:6, NKJV.
When Isaiah the prophet said, “Unto us,” he spoke of his national family, Israel. Christ would be born a son of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. But the message of “unto us” did not and does not stop there. Isaiah also spoke those words as a man. For that reason, the “us” to whom this Child was born includes the whole human race.
The birth of a child is always an awesome event. Tragedies can occur before, during, or after childbirth. But it is the very awesomeness of birth that makes such events so unspeakably sad.
Usually, the day of birth is celebrated for a lifetime. The birth of a son or daughter has turned many an atheist into a firm believer. Human birth is that remarkable, that overwhelming.
But in all human history, the birth of one Child stands out. It embodies the wonder of all human birth and to that it adds the divine. And I don’t just mean adds a little bit of divinity. I mean that in this Child, God became man and dwelt among us (John 1:14).
Unto us — unto the human race — a Child was born. Why did He have to be born? Why didn’t He come into the world like Superman, riding a rocket from another world? Because the fiction of Superman was that he was not a man. He was an alien who happened to look like us.
This Child was born like we are — born with human DNA to a human mother through pain and travail. He was truly one of us. Fully human… but also fully God.
“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given.” A child is born to a family. In this case, He was born to the family of Mary and Joseph, the family of Israel, and to the family of man. “Unto us a son is given.” He came as God’s great Gift to us all.
It’s not an accident that we celebrate His birth with gift-giving. It is appropriate. Each of our small gifts stands as a reminder of Him — the greatest Gift of all.
At Christmas, we celebrate the first advent of Christ. We celebrate His birth and all that His birth made possible, including our salvation and redemption. But we should also remember His second advent. He is coming again (John 14:3). The work is not over. He promised to return. We can see it when we keep reading Isaiah 9:6-7 (NKJV).
“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”
God bless you and may you enjoy a profound, Jesus-centered holiday season this year!