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 greatness of his government and peace
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.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
Today we finish our meditations on Isaiah 9:6-7, and if you’re like me, that wonderful chorus from Handel’s Messiah has been playing over and over in your head the last few days. And it ends with the fourth and final name given to Jesus in this verse, the Prince of Peace. What kind of peace does Jesus bring? And how does he do it?
First, Jesus brings peace between God and man. Our sin has separated us from a holy and just God, and we “are under his wrath and curse, and so made liable to all miseries in this life, to death itself, and to the pains of hell forever” (WSC 19). But thanks be to God, he sent us a Redeemer! As Isaiah says of Jesus, “the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed” (Isa 53:5). As Paul writes, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).
Secondly, Jesus brings peace among people. We haven’t looked yet at verse 7 of our text, but notice what it says about the reign of Jesus. There will be no end of the greatness of his government and of peace; he will establish and uphold his kingdom; he will reign with justice and righteousness; and he will reign forever. Read Psalm 72 to get a picture, a foreshadowing, of the reign of Jesus. His reign is not simply a cessation of war: it is true, deep, satisfying shalom.
Finally, Jesus gives peace to his chosen flock. See the tender and gracious words he speaks to his children in Matthew! See the wonderful promise he gives to his disciples and to all who trust in him! “Peace, perfect peace, in this dark world of sin? The blood of Jesus whispers peace within.” (Edward H. Bickersteth)
Dear brothers and sisters, in this advent season and throughout the year, through all your life, may you experience the blessing of God, as expressed in Numbers 6:
“‘“The Lord bless you
and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”’
His name shall be the Prince of peace,
the Wonderful, the Counselor,
the great and mighty Lord. His power, increasing, still shall spread,
his reign no end shall know;
justice shall guard his throne above,
and peace abound below.