Saturday, December 16, 2023

Everlasting Father: Born a Creator

Tonight I am starting the 3rd week of Advent early. The third candle represents Jesus as the Everlasting Father.

For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
    and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and of peace
    there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
    to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
    from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.
- Isaiah 9:1-2, 6-7 (ESV)

But how, you might ask, can Jesus the Son also be described as a Father? Although the three persons of God in the Trinity have unique roles, their intertwined-ness and dependency on one another enable Jesus to display characteristics of eternal fatherhood. The key focus here, however, should be the infinite nature of Jesus.

In a Gospel Coalition article entitled “How Can Jesus Be Our Everlasting Father?”, David Sunday says,

“Isaiah is speaking of a child who will be born some 700 years in the future—yet he makes clear that this child is the author of eternity, the “father of time”!

In the Old Testament, God refers to Himself as the “First and the Last” (Isaiah 44:6). In the book of Revelation, John sees a vision of Jesus saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end” (Revelation 22:13). Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. It’s like saying, “from A to Z”—it’s a completion, and comprehensive covering of all things from beginning to end.

Ocieanna Fleiss wonders about the eternal nature of Jesus in the first chapter of her book, Awaiting the Manger. She asks,
“When did the story of Jesus begin? When the angel Gabriel descended to the dusty town of Nazareth to find a peasant girl who would be blessed among women? Or did it begin earlier in history’s halls? Maybe in an easily skimmed-over verse from the book of Micah, when the prophet hailed the little town of Bethlehem as the birthplace of the Messiah. . . Or was it further back into the dark past when our first parents Adam and Eve sided against God . . . when God promised a Deliverer would come from the seed of the woman to crush the serpent’s head, restoring the shattered relationship between God and his sons and daughters? (Genesis 3:15). Surely that was when the story began. But no. Not even then. Jesus’s story—the story of our deliverance from the shackles of sin to new life—began here: ‘Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world’ (Ephesians 1:4).”
Before time and space—Jesus thought of us, predestined us, loved us, prepared the way for us.

Fleiss finishes, “And, all of this would first be heralded in a tiny space crammed into a crowded town, when, begotten of the Father’s love, the Son would trade his throne for a manger (Luke 2:7). A lot happened before the beginning.”

Genesis 1:2 describes pre-creation as formless and void, dark and watery. What else does that sound like?

Many thousands of years after the formation of light and land, and living things, Jesus found Himself back in a dark and watery void—the womb of a young woman named Mary. Little did those dwelling on earth know, the baby to be born had given up His divine kingdom to bring about a kingdom of new life. From the very microscopic seed of His mother’s womb to the glorious expanse of His heavenly throne, Jesus indeed is the First and the Last, the eternal One, the Everlasting Father, who has, is, and will continue to weave together an incomparable story of redemption and grace.

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