Let There Be Peace on Earth

Exhortation by Scarlett Stough

When Jesus was born, the angels announced, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” (Luke 2:14 NIV) That peace was not accomplished with his birth; yet, the purpose of his human birth was to bring peace as well as glory to God.

We watch the TV news and read reports in newspapers and magazines and find there is no peace reported in them. Of course, the promise of peace was only to those “on whom his favor rests.” This phrase *implies God’s gracious purpose in being willing to resolve the breach that prevents peace. 

Jesus said that the Father had given him a work to finish. (John 5:36); it was on the cross, just before he died that he said, “It is finished.” (John 19:30)

Paul wrote, “We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:1) He also said, “For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation---.” (Colossians 1:19-22)

It is only through the shed blood of the Son of God and the death of his physical body that we can have peace with God and from God. It is this peace that Jesus brought to us. We have many national enemies, in whatever nation we call home, but humanity has been God’s enemy. God sent his own Son to sue for peace. This is a peace made with individuals whether or not our respective nations accept that peace offer.

The lyrics to a song say, “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.” If we are to be children of God, then we too need to be peace makers. (Matthew 5:9) But true peace has already begun in the death of Jesus, the human son of Mary and the divine Son of God. No mere human can redeem or ransom the life of any man. (Psalm 49:7)

Peter wrote, “Peace to all of you who are in Christ.”

Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

During this time of year, we focus on remembering the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As we partake of the symbols of his shed blood, wine, and his broken body, unleavened bread, let us remember the peace that he bought for us through his body and blood. We should examine ourselves to see if we are truly in the faith (in Christ) and recipients of his peace. “Do you not realize that Christ is in you-unless, of course, you fail the test?" (II Corinthians 13:5; I Corinthians 11:27-32)
 

*The New Strong’s Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (2001). “Favor (2107) eudokia lit. ‘good pleasure’ implies a gracious purpose, a good object being in view, with the idea of resolve, showing the willingness with which the resolve is made.”  (back to text)

 

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