“What child is this who laid to rest on Mary’s lap is sleeping? Whom angels greet with anthems sweet, while shepherds watch are keeping?”
These words to a popular Christmas song ask an important question: Who is this child, this babe, who reportedly spent his new born hours in a manger?
Words proclaimed by the prophet Isaiah many years ago, approximately around 700BC, provide defining details about this child. Isaiah reveals the names of this child, and these names tell it all.
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government will be upon His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah9:6
The Mighty God – Warrior
Here is a name that makes us pause and think deeply. Who is this Child, the mighty God? The Hebrew word in this name is translated as “mighty” in most translations of scripture. It carries with it a history of meanings: strong; mighty– with reference to a warrior, a hero, a champion, and a mighty king.
The second word in this name is “êl”which is a Hebrew word for God. It means strength, might or power. “El” is used in the Old Testament to refer to the one true God. We see the term “êl”preceding other words to reveal more of God’s names, such as: El Echad-the One True God ( Mal. 2:10); El Hanne’eman –the Faithful God (Deut. 7:9): and, El Emet – the God of truth (Ps. 31:5). These are but a few of “êl‘s” names.
Scripture bears witness to God as “the Mighty Warrior.”
- “Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.” Ps. 24:8
We see this name and description of God in the song of Miriam and Moses in Exodus 15.
- “The Lord is my strength and my defense; He has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise Him, my father’s God,and I will exalt Him.The Lord is a warrior; the Lord is his name.” Ex. 15:2-3
- “The LORD will go forth like a warrior; He will stir up His zeal like a soldier. He will shout; yes, He will roar. He will prevail against His enemies.” Isaiah 42:7
Jesus – the Mighty God Warrior
Picture this: Jesus stands toe to toe and face to face with Satan, locked in spiritual combat. This is the picture of the Light standing up to darkness – Jesus, our mighty warrior,with no sword or spear, but in weakness and humility He becomes the sin offering for us. Other images of Him flash through our minds: Jesus, babe in the manger; 12 year old boy learning and teaching; itinerant rabbi working the wonders of God freeing men from Satan’s enslavement. We see Him crucified as a law breaker and raised as the victorious Lord, Creator of all life, King of kings seated at the right hand of the throne of God – El Gibbowr – God almighty-Mighty Warrior.
Snapshots of Jesus as the Conquering Warrior
This child that we sing of as sleeping on Mary’s lap became the Mighty Warrior God who broke the power of our enemy Satan, who held the power of death.
If I could draw a picture for the message of each of these passages it would be of Jesus – “The Mighty Warrior God.”
- “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.” Hebrews 2:14-15
- “And now He has revealed this grace through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has abolished death and illuminated the way to life and immortality through the gospel…” 2 Timothy 1:10
The most powerful picture of “this child” turned “Mighty God-Warrior King” is in Rev. 19:11-16.
I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but He Himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the wine press of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:
KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS
If you choose to celebrate Christmas as remembering “God becoming man” reflect on that babe in the manger as “êl Gibbowr – Mighty Warrior God,” sovereign overall and the mighty warrior who has done battle for us.
When I feel defeated by circumstances in life, by difficult relationships, by my weaknesses and sin, I turn to this picture of Jesus as my Champion, my Mighty Warrior-God, and my faith is strengthened.
File this picture in your truths about God, and then put a copy of in your album of God. As you set your “faith pictures” in your album, put this picture of Jesus, the Mighty God – Warrior King, next to the babe in the manger in Bethlehem so that you will remember who this Child is!