Written by Donald dela Cruz
God revealed to Isaiah the hope of the nation of Israel, their Saviour, who would ultimately free the nation from her oppressors. He would be the mighty God in their midst; the great light which would shine in darkness (Isaiah 9:2).
Isaiah 9:6 lists the titles of the coming Messiah, which depict His roles. They are the most accurate description of who Christ is. The title “The mighty God” declares that Christ is mighty and Christ is God. In this article, we shall consider how these truths are demonstrated in Him.
Christ is Mighty
1. Mighty to save
Isaiah prophesied in chapter 53 that Christ in His first coming would be “brought as a lamb to the slaughter” (v. 7). He would take upon Himself the sins of His people as God’s sacrificial lamb and suffer for their transgressions and iniquities. By His suffering, death and resurrection, Jesus Christ would earn the forgiveness of the sins of His people. So Christ is mighty to save.
Now we know that His sufferings had appeased the wrath of God, and God is pleased to grant forgiveness and salvation to every sinner who puts his faith in the redemptive work of Christ on the cross (Romans 5:9-10). So every sinner who comes to Christ for salvation can be assured that his salvation is fully guaranteed.
Hebrews 7:25 declares the power of Christ to save sinners: “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him…” Jesus is mighty to save wholly all who will come to Him. He is able to change a rebellious heart into a submissive one by the power of His salvation that works in a genuine believer.
2. Mighty to defeat the enemy
Jesus has defeated Satan, sin and death! Jesus Christ confronted Satan, man’s greatest adversary, who tried to tempt Him in the Judean wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11). In this confrontation, Jesus overcame all the temptations and rebuked Satan sharply by quoting the Scriptures, and thus prevailed over His adversary. Despite Satan’s attempts to tempt Him, Jesus did not sin at all (Hebrews 4:15)! Hence, we can look to Jesus Christ as the example of how to overcome sin. Above all, He is the only worthy Person who can lead us triumphantly in the spiritual fight against Satan and sin!
Moreover, the cross of Jesus destroyed Satan! Hebrews 2:14 says, “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.” Jesus Christ became a man, so that by dying He might deliver us who had been ensnared by the devil through fear of death. So Christ died and arose that He might crush Satan and the power of death. Satan can no longer tyrannize over those who are redeemed by Christ’s death. Neither can he terrorise them ever again with death, for by His resurrection, Jesus demonstrated to us that He has completely rendered powerless the tyranny of Satan, sin and death. As Paul has said in 1 Corinthians 15:56-57, “The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Death has been an invincible enemy of man. It is no respecter of person whether rich or poor, young or old. The Bible says that it is appointed unto men once to die (Hebrews 9:27), and that death is a reality to all men (Psalm 89:48). No ordinary man is able to defeat death and whoever can accomplish such a feat would be mightier than death. Jesus defeated death which has haunted man since the beginning. Death could only contain Jesus as long as He allowed. Jesus allowed Himself to undergo death because it is the only way to break the shackles of sin. Therefore, when He resurrected on the third day, He removed the sting of death which is sin. So Paul tauntingly asked, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” (1 Corinthians 15:55). Soon, Christ the mighty God will cast Satan permanently into the lake of fire where he will be tormented day and night forever (Revelation 20:10).
Christ is God
Isaiah affirmed that Jesus Christ is God. The prophet addressed Him as Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14) which means “God with us”. The same title was used again in Isaiah 8:8. Isaiah pronounced Jesus Christ as God once more in Isaiah 40:3 when he declared that there would be a voice in the wilderness who would prepare “the way of the LORD”, even “a highway for our God”. In the New Testament, Matthew pointed out that the voice in the wilderness is John the baptizer (Matthew 3:3), who himself also confirmed his God-given role as the herald of the LORD (John 1:23). John the baptizer declared Jesus as the Lamb of God while he prepared the way for Him (John 1:29-30). This Christ who would come to the world is the LORD our God as was declared by the prophet Isaiah to the people of Israel.
1. Christ has always been God
Jesus Christ is our eternal God and He has always been together with God the Father even before time began. He has existed before the creation of the world. He was involved in the creation of the foundation of the world and all that is therein, because all things were made by Him (John 1:3). His eternal nature proves His deity.
Likewise, Jesus Christ has existed before His incarnation. In Isaiah 6:1-5, the prophet in a vision saw the mighty Lord in His full splendour and glory. He was sitting on His throne and seraphims were flying above Him. The seraphims addressed Him as the thrice holy LORD of hosts. In the New Testament, John identified Jesus Christ as the King whom Isaiah saw (John 12:41).
2. Christ, as God, forgives sins
All sins are committed against God. Sin is rebellion against God’s authority (Isaiah 30:9). God is the judge of all who sin and rebel against Him (Isaiah 26:21). Thus, only God, being the offended One and the judge, can forgive a sinner. God spoke through the prophet Isaiah, saying, “I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins” (Isaiah 43:25).
Jesus Christ, while He was on earth, declared the forgiveness of sins to certain men. When He was in Capernaum, He declared the pardon of the sins of the paralyzed man (Mark 2:1-12). The scribes accused Christ of blasphemy because to them, He was acting as God by forgiving sins. They reasoned in their hearts, “Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?” (Mark 2:7). They were correct to affirm that only God can forgive sins. In fact, the authority that Jesus Christ exercised to forgive sins confirms His deity.
The truth that Christ is “The mighty God” is demonstrated in His deliverance of men from their invincible enemies – sin, death and the devil. However, they are all utterly defeated and rendered powerless by Christ, the mighty God. Man has no capability to triumph over them, but through Christ they can overcome and be more than conquerors. Because of the works of Christ, our mighty God, we can prevail over Satan, sin and death.