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The conquering Christ of Christmas

By James O. Davis

The conquering Christ is the central figure throughout the Scriptures. In the Old Testament, through the Passover, people looked forward to redemption. In the New Testament, during the Christmas season, we look back to the Incarnation.

In the Book of Isaiah, the centrality of the conquering Christ is vividly seen. The chapters divide into 39 and 27, as do the Old and New Testament books. The first 39 chapters have an Old Testament ring; the 27 chapters thrill with the evangel of the New Testament.

The last 27 chapters divide into three sections of nine chapters each. Isaiah, in his center division, deals with the Messiah. Of the nine chapters in the Messiah section (49-57), the center chapter (53) gives a clear view of Calvary. Isaiah’s name means "salvation of Jehovah."

One moment Isaiah is black with thunder and the darkness of the storm. Then the rainbow shines through, and Isaiah sweeps his readers onto the Golden Age still ahead. He writes about the Savior and Sovereign to illustrate the cross and the crown.

To Isaiah, Christ is as much the Lamb of God as He is the Lion of the tribe of Judah. Twenty-seven hundred years ago, he wrote, "For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this" (Isaiah 9:6,7, NASB).

From these verses come steps to ensure that our conquering Christ is central during our Christmas celebration. We need to:

Respond to His profound principles.
Jesus is a "Wonderful Counselor" (Isaiah 9:6). If you are weary in mind, Jesus says, "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28). If you need basic worldly goods, Jesus says, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matthew 6:33, KJV). If you are worried, Jesus says, "Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid" (Matthew 14:27). If you desire to be a witness, Jesus says, "Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me" (Acts 1:8). If you are weak in body, Jesus says, "Rise, take up thy bed, and walk" (John 5:8).

To the Christian, the Lord’s counsel is like honey to the taste, harmony to the ear, health to the body, happiness to the soul and hope to the heart.

Second, to ensure that our conquering Christ is central during our Christmas celebration, we need to:

Remember His personal powers.
Isaiah wrote: "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given ... and his name shall be called ... the mighty God" (9:6). Jesus is the God-Man. Jesus was older than His mother, but the same age as His Father. Before time began, Christ existed with His Father.

Jesus was born in Bethlehem, hidden in Egypt, raised in Nazareth, baptized in the Jordan and tempted in the wilderness. He performed miracles on the roadside, healed multitudes without medicine and charged nothing for His services. Then, He took our sins to Calvary and died for the world. He was buried in Joseph’s new tomb and on schedule rose out of the grave.

Jesus Christ stands for free healing and full salvation. Today social scientists are able to put a new suit on man, but only Christ can put a new man in a suit. Jesus precedes all others in their priority, exceeds all others in their superiority and succeeds all others in their finality.

Third, in order to ensure that our conquering Christ is central to our Christmas celebration, we need to:

Respect His paternal passions.
Jesus is the "Eternal Father" (Isaiah 9:6). Since the triune nature of God had not been revealed to Isaiah, he is expressing that Christ is Father until everlasting. Christ will still be God after eternity begins. He will be God long after America lies in the dust. He will be God when our fleeting and vaporous life we now have is gone. He will still be God when the stars leap at His command from their present orbits, and the earth melts with fervent heat from the gaze of Him whose eyes are like fire. He will still be God after all our confusions are resolved in heavenly understanding. He will still be God when all our weaknesses become strengths. He will still be God after our defeats become victories. He will still be God when our sojourn through this life gives way to the vestibule of eternity.

Last, in order to ensure that our conquering Christ is central to our Christmas celebration, we need to:

Recognize His priestly policies.
Jesus is the "Prince of Peace" (9:6) and His domain is described (9:7). This passage will not be fully actualized until the Millennium. During the millennial reign of Christ, our Savior will rule and reign over all the earth. The establishment of the domain will rest upon the Lord’s shoulders. The extent of this Kingdom is summed up: "There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace" (9:7). The expansion of this millennial empire will materialize when Jesus is on the throne and judgment and justice are in the land.

The first time Jesus came He rode a donkey; next time, He will ride a white horse. The first time He stood before Pilate; next time, Pilate will stand before Him. At first, Jesus was rejected; at the last, every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. At His first advent He wore a crown of thorns; at His second, He will wear the diadems of glory. When Jesus Christ comes, He will make walking on water look like child’s play as He steps out of eternity into time and walks on clouds. A rainbow of victory will be wrapped around His shoulders. At that moment, the laws of gravity, time and space will simultaneously collapse, and His disciples will instantly be standing on the shores of heaven.

Will you let Christ be the center of this Christmas season or will you have a Christless Christmas? The choice is yours.

James O. Davis is national evangelists representative for the Assemblies of God and is president of Cutting Edge International.


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