The Prince of Peace1
The Prince of Peace . . .
Every year during the Christmas season, I’m reminded of our world’s desperate desire for peace. The radio starts playing “Happy Xmas (War is Over)”, people string up lights outside their homes spelling out peace on earth, and sermons on Luke 2:14 abound from pulpits across the nation in hopes that this season will renew an urgency for a cease fire across the globe. Right now, our nation lies in a heap of political and social unrest as racial tension rises to levels not seen for forty years. It will be difficult to characterize our times as peaceful when ISIS runs rampantly through the Middle East, Ebola continues to ravage West Africa, and personal information is exposed through a series of cyber-attacks. Yet it was into this world of chaos that Jesus would plunge as the Prince of Peace.
Isaiah predicted in Isaiah 9:6 of a child who would be born the Prince of Peace. He would be born the Prince of Peace in the sense that he would be the prince who would bring peace - a peace that this world fails to recognize it desperately needs. A peace that surpasses all understanding and can exist in the midst of a world characterized by turmoil. When Jesus came on that Christmas Day, he came to bring men peace with God. Because of man’s own sin, the righteous wrath of God rightly burned against all mankind creating discord in man’s relationship with God. (cf. Rom 1:18). But the Prince of Peace descended on this earth to bring peace with God to those with whom God delights (Luke 2:14).
This peace would not be possible until this baby who was laid in a lowly manger was lifted up on a rugged cross at the end of his life. The peace purchased by the Prince of Peace cost him his life.
In his death, Jesus reconciled alienated men and women to the Father. Paul exclaims, For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinance, that he might create in himself one new man in the place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility (Eph 2:14-16).
This peace is still presented to the world today. Although this world might still lay in chaos during this Christmas season, you can find peace provided by the Prince of Peace who was born on Christmas Day. Paul reminds us in Romans 5:1 that this peace does not magically descend to us in some mystical way, but comes through faith in the Son of God saying, Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Will you let another Christmas Day go by longing for world peace while missing the peace you desperately need?
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