By Nathan Jones
How is Jesus the Prince of Peace the world so desperately needs?
In this "The Truth Will Set You Free" TWave Radio episode, Pastor Vic Batista of Miami's Calvary Chapel Aventura and I will discuss the Christmas hope mankind has through the virgin birth of Jesus Christ.
In Need of Peace
Vic Batista: I just love Matthew 1:21-23 where the Bible tells us, "Behold a virgin shall be with child and bear a son. And shall call His name Immanuel, which is translated, God with us." What I love about this is that Isaiah 7 and Isaiah 9 gives us other titles of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Isaiah 7:14 reads, "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel." This includes this incredible sign about the virgin birth.
Isaiah 9:6 gives us more titles. "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."
I just love the part following in Isaiah 9:7, "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." One of the titles used for Jesus is Prince of Peace. Today's world is in dire need of peace, right?
Nathan Jones: Yes, so very much so. One of the signs Jesus gave us as we got closer and closer to His return was war and rumors of wars would increase, along with famines, natural disasters, plagues, political unrest, and the persecution of His followers. Those signs will continue to grow in frequency and intensity. And, brother, it is so very hard to watch the news. I keep up on current events all the time, and it's just so hard to look at what is happening in the world today. When the world seems so chaotic, what a wonderful reminder when get at Christmas-time by remembering what Christmas is all about — Jesus and His hope.
Sadly, the last Barna report reported that about 75% of people polled believe that Christmas is about family and tradition. Only about 15% believe Christmas is about Jesus' birth. That's so sad!
Jesus' virgin birth allowed Him to have victory over sin — the pure and perfect sacrifice — which provides mankind salvation and the promise of His Kingdom of peace, righteousness, and justice that is coming. The annual reminder of the virgin birth at Christmas gives me hope for the future, and hope for today, because we live in terrible times and we need all the hope we can get.
Vic Batista: What a wonderful reminder of Jesus' victory Christmas-time is!
The Prince of Peace
Vic Batista: I've been very sad as of late regarding the news that is coming out of the Middle East involving the Islamic movement, ISIS, that is killing innocent children and believers in Christ. The answer to this problems is Jesus, right?
Nathan Jones: It is. It's been terrifying witnessing Islamic terror increasing around the world. We saw that the café down in Australia where a guy claimed to be a sheik held people hostage. Two people died trying to stop him. They are heroes. You read about the Taliban, which is the group that we pushed out of Afghanistan, how they hate any education whatsoever so they attacked a school and killed over 140 kids and teachers. You read about Nigeria how Boko Haram tears through Christian villages killing the Christians with machetes and bombs. We read about terrorists attacks all over the world. The fear that people have about terrorism has driven our liberal establishment to quake in fear and attempt to appease the terrorists at every opportunity. The world is just terrified right now. People are living in fear.
Now, try to remember that we have the Prince of Peace. We have the hope of Jesus defeating the enemies of the world and someday soon establishing a government of peace, righteousness and justice. That is what Christmas is all about!
Vic Batista: I love it! And that greatest gift of all is available today, right, Nathan?
Nathan Jones: Right, John 3:16 says that God so loved the world that He sent His one and only Son, and whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. That's an amazing hope! It's incredible to know that Jesus Christ loves us so much that He gave up so much by becoming a baby and to one day suffer and die for us. Jesus had the sins of the world put upon Himself. Can you imagine you are clean, you are pure, there is no dirt on you, but then you have all the dirt of the world poured onto you? That is what happened to Jesus on the cross. And He suffered that because God loves us.
Vic Batista: I pray that people will recognize how important Christmas is.
Sure, at Christmas we love the gifts. I don't have anything against gifts or celebrating, but if we are only focusing on those things, then we are missing out on the greatest gift which is Jesus Christ. We are doing a disservice to Christ and ourselves when we leave Christ out of Christmas. Christmas is all about our great Savior who came to earth as a baby and died on the cross for our sins in order to provide us eternal life. That's the Good News that's worth spreading.
Nathan Jones: That is why the Gospel message is also called the Good News of Jesus Christ. We may get bad news all of the time, but Christmas is all good news. We can get bogged down in the prophecies about the destruction and end of the world that we are bringing upon ourselves because of our evil desires and our rebelliousness, but we gain hope at Christmas. We are to remember that when Jesus' returns He will defeat evil and sets up His kingdom on this earth, one of peace, righteousness and justice. The prophecies just like we read in Isaiah will have fully come true. Jesus is the Prince of Peace, the King of Kings, and that gives us hope.
In the third and last part of this discussion on the Christmas Story, Vic and I will continue to look at Who truly fills the void in our lives.