HIS NAME — WONDERFUL!.. Isaiah 9:6
His Name shall be called Wonderful." So spoke the Old Testament seer, Isaiah,
as he looked down the long corridor of the centuries and envisioned the entrance
of the Son of God upon the stage of world events. Through the ages there have
been many wonderful men, men whose personalities and exploits have fired the world
with admiration, but the prophetic finder pointed past them all and singled out
the Man Christ Jesus. "His Name shall be called Wonderful." It is not
only that He is wonderful but that is His Name.
The strange paradox which Isaiah predicted was that He whose Name is Wonderful
would have no appeal to the average man. They would see "no beauty in Him
that [they] should desire Him." but by divine revelation His beauty and glory
has dawned upon many hearts and brought them as worshippers to his feet.
His Name is wonderful because of the Person He is; the everlasting God the one
and only Potentate; the Creator and Upholder of all things; coequal with the Father;
Jehovah the Saviour; without beginning of years or end of days. Yet the contemplation
of those divine attributes cannot tell us all the story of the One whose name
is Wonderful. The person who knows Him only as a supreme Being will never catch
Isaiah's vision of Him. Isaiah spoke of this One who, being the eternal Potentate,
was making a descent from those heights of glory and majesty down to the world
which His hands had made.
Unto us a child is born; unto us a son is given (Isa. 9:6).
THE WONDER OF HIS BIRTH
It is when we first get a glimpse by faith of this blessed Person becoming
God incarnate', that the wonder of it dawns upon us. His coining had been foretold
by inspired prophets tor centuries. Moses had told us what race He would come.
Isaiah predicted He would be born of a virgin. Micah told exactly where He would
be born in Bethlehem of Judea. Daniel gave us a prophetic clock upon whose face
we should read the time of His coming. These things alone serve to set this
wonderful Person apart from all others that were ever born into this world.
As we contemplate the wonder of His birth, in our minds we stand on the darkened
hills of Judea, and see a bright star in the heavens. It was His star, travelling
across the dark bosom of night to direct the wise men to His birthplace. This
is no errant planet wandering by some accident of nature from its appointed
path. This was a star set in the heavens, its course planned from creation's
birth. Its pace was set by divine accuracy, that it might fulfil its unhurried
journey through trackless space to arrive with utmost precision in the eastern
sky the very moment these wise men cast their inquiring gaze
heavenward. Its journey of many centuries brought it directly over the humble dwelling where the Christ child lay.
Nor was the star alone in its miraculous mission; while the shepherds were standing
among their sheep on the hillside, the angels were proclaiming, "Glory
to God in the highest, on earth peace, good will toward men." The shepherds
went to Bethlehem and "saw this thing which had come to pass."
Never was a baby born like this. The host of heaven was filled with the wonder,
yet only a few wise men and shepherds were stirred enough to witness the spectacle.
There was no room for Him in the inn. This Babe must be born in the little town
of Bethlehem, not in the metropolis of Jerusalem, not wrapped in royal linen
or costly garments, but in swaddling clothes and laid in a feeding trough.
Can this be He to whom Isaiah pointed, saying, "His Name shall be called
Wonderful"? Yes, this is He! Had He come like a prince to be born in the
palace of the Herods, with royal acclamation and great fanfare, hailed by earth's
grand and great ones, then His Name would not have been wonderful. But He who
"thought it not robbery to be equal with God...made Himself of no reputation
and became in the likeness of men".
That is wonderful!
THE WONDER OF HIS LIFE
See Him as He grows up. He is a carpenter's boy and his earthly parents arc
poor and humble people. He' works as a carpenter also. Think of this One who
made the worlds, working with patience and grace for twenty years as a humble
carpenter. How the zeal of the Lord must have burned within Him during those
long years, yet Ho never was in a hurry. Why should He be? Was He not the First and the Last always?
Our imagination staggers as we think what it must have been to have a plowshaft
or a yoke made by His skillful hand. He would be a master craftsman. His yokes
would not bruise the shoulders of the oxen. I wonder if He did not nave this
in mind when He said. Take my yoke upon you and learn of Me,, My yoke
is easy and my burden is light.
Thirty years He waited in the obscurity of his is native village, unknown and
unobserved until He stepped into the public eye. Beginning in Nazareth where
He was brought up. He presented himself in the synagogue to the wonderment of
the rabbis who handed Him the sacred scroll. He went about doing good and healing
all that were oppressed. He opened blind eves. He delivered the demon- possessed.
He raised the crippled. He spoke peace to troubled hearts. The rich and the
poor, the Jew and the Gentile, all received blessing from His hand.
How would His people receive such a Visitor to this vale of tears? In Nazareth,
they sought to stone Him. In Jerusalem, they tried to cast Him over the brow
of the city's hill. The Pharisees spurned Him; the Sadducees mocked Him. Multitudes
thronged Him to eat of the bread He gave, and then deserted Him when they were
filled. He was hated, cursed, spat upon, mocked, slapped in the face, scourged
with a whip. Throngs in the street put their tongues out at Him, drunkards sang
their obscene ditties about Him. Children were pushed away when they drew close
to His side.
He was dragged to the Sanhedrin and given a mock trial. A thief and murderer
was preferred before Him. A purple robe of mockery was put on Him. A crown of
thorns was driven into His head and a heavy cross was laid upon His bleeding
shoulders as the bloodthirsty mob led Him up Calvary's hill. "There they
crucified Him, and two oth-
ers with Him" What was His response to such hatred and violence against
Him He prayed for them, "Father, forgive them; they know not what they
do!" Wonderful indeed is He!
THE WONDER OF HIS DEATH
Having then suffered ignominy and shame at the hands of ruthless men. He became
their sin-bearer, and for three long hours the judgment of a holy God against
sin fell on His blessed head. The sun hid its face in abject shame, and the
world was plunged into great darkness—a darkness that bespeaks the anguish
of the silent Sufferer's soul.
Then, when it seemed as if the blackness of the pit itself had finally enveloped
in eternal night, the voice of the Crucified was heard from the deep darkness,
is finished!" His voice echoed throughout creation's vault and shook the
universe to its
core. Then the Prince of life died. "His Name shall be called Wonderful."
In His birth; in
His life; in His death," His Name is wonderful!
THE WONDER OF HIS RESURRECTION
Three days and nights pass by and the body of Jesus lay silent in Joseph's new
tomb. Then, as the dark shadows of night give way to the rising sun, Mary of
Magdala kept lonely and sorrowful vigil in the garden. Suddenly He broke the
silence of the tomb and came forth, triumphant from the grave. His Name is wonderful!
THE WONDER OF HIS COMING AGAIN
After forty days He ascended the heavens. There he sits today, on the right
hand of the majesty on high. Soon His saints will hear His voice for He will
"descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and
the trump of God". The dead in Christ will spring forth from the dust of
the tomb, the living shall be changed, and caught up together to meet I HIM
in the air. Shortly after. He will come forth in power and great glory with
His saints to reign, "and every eye shall see Him, and they that pierced
Him shall wail because of Him."
The gladness of His magnificent kingdom will bring peace and joy to this sad
earth. Then Isaiah's prophecy will be fulfilled to the letter. "His Name
shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the everlasting Father,
the Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace, there shall
be no end" (Isa. 9:6-7)."Neither is there salvation in any other:
for there is none other Name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be
saved" (Acts 4:12).
COUNSEL MAGAZINE • March - April 1998