Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you. John 14:27a
“Peace on Earth” is a familiar phrase spoken during the Christmas season, yet we do not often associate peace with the violence of the mob coming to arrest Jesus, the beatings laid upon His back, the suffocation that occurred as the strength left His body, leaving Him unable to gasp for air. The cross was violent, hostile, not a time for peace. Yet it is only through Jesus’s death on that cross that we can fully understand the peace that Jesus offers.
In fifteen books of the New Testament, “grace and peace to you” are found in the greeting. This much repetition tells me it is more than just a friendly “hello, how are you doing?” These greetings, inspired by the Holy Spirit, are given for a purpose.
We live in a world that is filled with wars and violence. A world that believes if we tolerate others' ideas, choices and lifestyles then we will achieve peace. Yet, Jesus did not come to bring peace between men, but to bring peace between man and God.
But God demonstrates His own love for us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Without Jesus, man is at enmity with God. Yet in the midst of our sinfulness, God poured out His love by sending Jesus to be our Peace.
Our sin created a barrier between us and God that could not be broken, leaving us without hope and in turmoil. Yet we can be reconciled to God through Jesus. The inner chaos brought about by our inability to achieve God’s standard of holiness due to the stain of sin on our heart is gone. Jesus gives us Himself in the form of peace.
Jesus not only brings us peace with God, but He gives us the Holy Spirit which enables us to live at peace with men. This too was impossible apart from the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. To be able to genuinely love another, to have joy in trials, to respond in kindness or to be at peace in response to hurt, are truly gifts that Jesus gives to His children (Galatians 5:22-23).
This Easter, cast off the sin that leaves you frustrated and stressful, and cling to the peace of Jesus.