For to us a child is born, to us a son is given: and the government shall be on his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful…
To be the "Father of eternity" is to have eternity, and to rule in eternity — to be the Lord of eternity. That is the meaning of it; and so Christ Jesus, who hath the government upon His shoulders, hath it on His shoulders forever and forever. But the eternity spoken of here is not the eternity that is bygone; it is the ongoing and unending duration that lies before us, and Christ Jesus is Lord and Ruler of all. No doubt He who can hold the future eternity in His hand, and who can rule all its affairs, must have been Himself the Unbeginning and Eternal One; and the Scriptures leave no doubt about that being the attribute of the Lord Jesus Christ. But that august tribute of being "from everlasting to everlasting" is not what is strictly before: us here. It is the duration from the time that Christ became human onwards.
I. Jesus Christ is the Father of the eternity that lies before and goes on, because He Himself lives forever. He is POSSESSOR; He has it (Psalm 102:25-27, and Hebrews 1:10-12). The fact that the Lord Jesus Christ in humanity is to live forever is a stupendous expectation and belief. Sometimes it has seemed to me as if it were more wonderful than the mere incarnation. That this is an important thought appears from two considerations.
1. It is a part of the Divine promise of the Father to the Lord Jesus Christ (Isaiah 53:10).
2. It is a thing for which Christ Himself prayed as part of His Father's promise (Psalm 21:4). And so the Lord Jesus Christ thus in human nature lives forever and ever. But that implies that His work was finished to the Father's satisfaction; to live forever was a proof that God the Father regarded Christ's work as finished — this same title, "Father of eternity," hath in germ within it the great facts of Christ's resurrection and ascension and session in glory. And so when John, in Apocalyptic vision, beheld Him as the Son of man, he heard Him thus speak: "Fear not; I am the first and the last, and the Living one; and I was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, amen; and have the keys of Hades and of death." Application —
1. To God's people. What a Saviour they have! They need never fear that they will be without His care. They could not find a world in all the universe where He is not with them, and they cannot live on to any age when He shall cease to be their light and King.
2. The same thing brings comfort to every sinner; for is it not written, "He is" able to save to the uttermost, them that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for the"? Mark, it does not say "seeing He died" — if that is all that could have been said, it would not have ever availed for the comfort and salvation of sinners — but seeing that, having died, "He ever liveth to make intercession for them."
II. The Lord Jesus Christ is ORIGINATOR of this age that is spoken of. He made this "forever," and gave it its grand characteristic; and all Gospel privilege that belongs to time, and all celestial enjoyment that belongs to eternity, we owe to Him.
III. Jesus Christ is CONTROLLER in this eternal age; the administration of its whole affairs is in His hands. The Author of our faith is the Ruler of its progress, and that not on earth alone, but in heaven. Can you doubt it, that when the Lord Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, went back to the glory that He had with the Father before the world began, went back in human nature, and appeared among the saints in heaven — can you doubt that from that hour heaven was another thing even to the glorified, because the Lord that brought them there by His blood was amongst them? And so, in the Epistle to the Hebrews, we read that we are come to the "spirits of just men made perfect," which means to the Old Testament Church, perfected now in privilege; for at the 13th verse of the eleventh chapter it is expressly said, "These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off." God willed that He should "provide some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect," — that heaven itself should not, in privilege and glory, even to the saints that had gone home, be perfect until Christ Himself had introduced a new age, and gone Himself to heaven.
(J. Edmond, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.