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. (Isaiah 9:6)
If you are a regular reader here, you know that we are in the midst of a Christmas season study on the four names of the Cosmic Christ Child, all of which were given by the inspired pen of the prophet Isaiah. The four names bestowed by the prophet help to identify Jesus Christ’s rule, His reign, and the scope of His kingdom. This week we will focus on the prophet’s third title, which finds its fulfillment in our Lord Jesus Christ: Everlasting Father. As we did with “Wonderful Counselor” and “Mighty God,” we will focus on the first half of the name on Monday, the second half of the name on Wednesday, and both combined to close out the week on Friday.
Everlasting is a title that is every bit as unique to this child born, this son given, as was the name “Mighty God,” which we looked into last week. Only in the mind of God can the name “Everlasting” be true. To possess the name Everlasting is to embody a profound truth, which is known as the preexistence of God.
Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God (Psalm 90:2).
Before the creation there was the Creator – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – three separate persons with one eternal essence. As the second person of the Trinity, the Son is the preexistent Everlasting Father, who was, and is, and is to come. Jesus clearly asserted this truth in an exhange with the Jewish religious leaders, who had been challenging His message and His ministry.
Jesus replied, “If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me. Though you do not know him, I know him. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and keep his word. Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.”
“You are not yet fifty years old,” the Jews said to him, “and you have seen Abraham!”
“I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” (John 8:54-58)
The religious leaders, who knew the Scriptures quite well, understood exactly what Jesus was saying when He brought them back to the encounter between Moses and God at the burning bush. When Moses asked God for His name, God said, “I AM WHO I AM” (Exodus 3:14). Now Jesus was claiming that name for Himself, which meant that He was claiming equality with God. We know that the Jewish religious leaders rightly interpreted what our Lord meant when He said, “Before Abraham was born, I am!” because “At this, they picked up stones to stone him” (John 8:59). They knew full well what Jesus was saying, but they flatly refused to accept it.
Here is one final point of proof that Jesus is Everlasting. When we read Jesus saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega” (Revelation 1:8), we are to understand this as a statement of His everlasting nature. The first letter of the Greek alphabet is Alpha, and the last letter of the Greek alphabet is Omega; Jesus used these bookends to symbolize the truth that He is the beginning and the end, the first and the last, the Everlasting God of the past, the present, and our promised future.
Have you accepted His promise? “I am the resurrection and the life,” He tells us. “He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die” (John 11:25-26). Have you accepted this truth, by grace through faith? If so, then He is your Everlasting Father also!
On Wednesday, we will take a look at the word “Father,” the second part of this third name.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!