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. (Isaiah 9:6)
On first reading, this may not seem quite right. Are we mixing up the trinity? How can Jesus be the Father?
The bible does not specifically mention the name “trinity”, though we read throughout its pages the concept of three distinct persons in one: The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Each have their distinct roles within the trinity. The above verse has been used to try and suggest that they are not three distinct persons but only one (that God the Father is also the son etc), however this concept is clearly refuted in many other bible passages.
This passage is not saying that Jesus is God the Father, but that He takes on a fatherly role in eternity. It would be better to read Jesus’ role in this passage as the ‘author’ or ‘possessor’ of eternity. He is the eternal one who holds eternity in His possession.
As a member of the ‘Godhead’ Jesus is eternal. In Revelation 22:13 He declares: “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
It talks about Jesus being with God in the beginning in John 1:1-3, and then in Colossians 1:17 it says: “And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”
And here comes the wonderful truth: He has shared His eternity with us. As the Father of eternity he leads all those who believe in Him into eternal life. He has put into the heart of man a sense of the infinite, a hunger for eternal life: “He has put eternity into man’s heart.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
There are numerous fantasy stories around, sparking our imagination about finding the secret to eternal life. We instinctively know (regardless of whether we believe in God or not) that death is our enemy. There is always a sense of loss at the death of a loved one, even in very old age. We were made for eternity, therefore the relative shortness of life is never a comfortable thought.
Jesus defeated death when He himself died on the cross and then rose to life three days later. We now have the opportunity to follow Him and live forever in the age to come.
In light of eternity, this life we are living now is but a blink of an eye or a fleeting breath. Our time on earth in this age is so short; shouldn’t we be doing all we can to prepare for the coming age? Shouldn’t our every focus be on preparing for that glorious future when we live forever with our eternal saviour?
Now that is something to think about!