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"Wonder of A Counselor" Wednesday of Advent 2C

December 12, 2012

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Wednesday of Advent Two                            Trinity Lutheran Church

12 December 2012                                      Murdock, NE


+Jesu Juva +


Isaiah 9:1-7 / Part One:  “Wonderful Counselor”


Last Wednesday the Lord through His preacher Isaiah promised the birth of a boy from a virgin.  Immanuel!  The physical, tangible sign that God is truly with us and for us!


What always comes after the birth of a baby?  Yes, that’s right:  the birth announcement!  Trumpeting the good news to friends, family and anyone within earshot that the baby is born! 


The prophet Isaiah proclaims the birth announcement to Israel:  “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son and he will be called Immanuel,” (Isaiah 7:14).  The birth of this baby means great joy for people walking in darkness because the Light had now come!  The day of salvation had dawned!  Peace had come to God’s people in the body of a little Baby Boy – the King of kings and Lord of lords!


Isaiah’s preaching comes to complete and total fulfillment in the birth of the Baby Jesus at Bethlehem!  “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given.”  He comes as pure gift!  No wonder the angel preached to the shepherds:  “I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born TO YOU; he is Christ, the Lord,” (Luke 2:10-11). 


Listen again to how Isaiah speaks of the Baby, Son, Savior!  “The government will be upon his shoulders.”   He shoulders a government!  Is it like the governments of the world – kings, presidents, governors – here today and gone tomorrow?  No!  It is a heavenly, eternal rule!  The rule of God Himself on the earth!  Therefore there are no limits to Jesus’ reign!  There are no boundaries to the peace He brings!  The text says:  “Of the increase of his government and of his peace there will be no end.”   


And the seat of Jesus’ government is the throne of King David from the Old Testament.  King Jesus is the fulfillment of 2 Samuel 7!  He is the Davidic Son who is given a throne and a kingdom that lasts forever!  For the sake of Israel of old and for the sake of the New Testament Israel, the church! 


“Justice and righteousness” are the key elements of Jesus’ reign.  He does “justice” to your sin by dying on the cross under the Law accusations and judgments!  He “shoulders” all your sin on the cross and is damned by it!  So that He speaks a just judgment for you!  And it is this:  “You are forgiven!”  He does and provides “righteousness” by keeping the Law perfectly in your place!  As King, Jesus lords His death and resurrection over you so that sin and death cannot harm you!


Then come the birth announcement titles of the Baby Jesus!  The titles tell you who the Child is, what He is for you and for the world, and why God the Father gave this Baby for you.  Here are the titles:  Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace.


It blows the mind to think that these lofty and magnificent names can be applied to a little newborn Baby born out in the sticks of the world:  Bethlehem!  How can this be?  The only answer that holds is that this “no room for Him in the inn” Baby who nurses at His mother’s breast is nothing other than the eternal God Himself in the flesh!   

He is given the name “Wonderful Counselor.”  Literally in the Hebrew it is “Wonder of a Counselor.”  His counsel, His guidance, His direction are astonishing, incredible and wondrous because they are God’s counsel!  When He speaks it is God who is speaking!  His Words are God’s Words! 


Jesus, then, is much more than a confidant.  So much more than being an advisor, a therapist or a trusted best friend!  He is that but much more!  He is at your side in the good times as well as the bad!  He is always there FOR YOU!   FOR YOU with His words of promise that all your sin is forgiven!  And with that counsel you have peace.  Peace with God! 


You need this Baby Jesus who is a “Wonder of a Counselor!”  Why?  I’ll tell you why!  When you purposely oppose the world and when you don’t conform to its wicked agenda, you will come under the world’s heavy attack!  The world will go after Christians like you!  Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you become public enemy number one in the world’s eyes!  The world will try to pull a Ben Ghazi on you!    


But Jesus is always there to be with you!  To comfort you with His Word.  Exhorting you to trust Him!   No matter what the world tries to do away with you! 


Yes, you need the Wonder of a Counselor Jesus!  Because when you turn your back on the devil and renounce all his works and all his ways, he will go after you!  He will accuse you when you sin and don’t live a God-pleasing life.  He will say:  “You call yourself a Christian?  You sure don’t look like one!  You sure don’t act like one!” 


But again, Jesus is there next to you to give you His counsel and to strengthen you.  He reminds you that you are baptized child of God!  Jesus is there with His pledge and promise!  “I died for you!  Oh yes, you are a sinner!  You’ve blown it big time!  Doesn’t surprise me!  And you do it again and again!  Can’t help yourselves!  But I tell you that I don’t count your sin against you!  I counted them all against me on the cross!  So now your covered in my divine blood that purifies you from all sin!  Yes, yes, I hear you!  I hear your protest that you’re a sinner and that you’ve sinned grievously but listen to me and believe what I promise!  Even though your sins are as red as scarlet I make them white and pure as snow when I sprinkle My divine blood on them!  They are no more as far as I am concerned.  And when I look at you, I see only my perfection, my holiness, my righteousness!” 


This is very wise counsel from Baby Jesus, Wonder of a Counselor!  His counsel is the infinite wisdom of God Himself!  With Baby Jesus we are given to see God’s thoughts – what’s always been on His mind.  With Baby Jesus we are invited to hear and see God’s ways!  The way that He wants to operate, or the precise manner He reigns or sets shoulders a government in the midst of sinners!


And what’s that?  What are God’s thoughts?  What are God’s ways?  Look no further than Baby Jesus who no sooner than He’s done nursing at Mary’s breast is betrayed, denied, and hammered to a pole!  Bearing and shouldering all sin!  Of every sinner!  The whole world full!  Until He completely drinks the cup of God’s wrath and endures eternal damnation as the Lamb of God so that He can declare justly and rightly:  “Father forgive them,” and, “It is finished!”  


Wonder of a Counselor Jesus speaks the counsel you need!  You need forgiveness!  You need life!  You need salvation!  And so He gives it to you!  That’s why He was born!  That’s why He hung cemetery dead on the cross!  That’s why He rose from the dead!  That’s why He still reigns as Wonderful Counselor among you!  To continually give you what you need.


So, I, by the command of my Lord Jesus Christ, Wonder of a Counselor, declare to you the full and complete forgiveness of all your sin in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  AMEN.


See you next Wednesday!

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