Thursday, December 1, 2022

Advent Words ~ Word 3: Peace


Word 3: Peace

The Prophets

As the prophets preached the hope of the coming Messiah, one of the themes that captured the hearts of a nation that knew great strife and suffering was the promise that the Messiah would bring peace.

"For unto us a child is born, 

to us a son is given, 

and the government will be on

his shoulders. 

And he will be called

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of his government

and peace,

there will be no end.

He will reign on David's throne

and over his kingdom,

establishing and upholding it

with justice and righteousness

from that time on and forever.

The zeal of the LORD Almighty

will accomplish this."

Isaiah 9:6-7

Isaiah says this Messiah will bear the titles of Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. It is this last title we look at today, the Prince of Peace.

Peace in the Hebrew language of the Bible is shalom. While we tend to think of peace as the absence of war or conflict, or a sense of calm and quiet, shalom is a sense of well-being and fulfillment that comes from God and is dependent on His presence. Shalom is wholeness, prosperity, security, and fullness of life that only comes as a result of a restored relationship with God. Shalom is reconciliation. It is the restoration of what is broken and painful in the world – our separation from God because of sin.

"He will stand and shepherd his flock

in the strength of the LORD,

in the majesty of the name of the 

LORD his God.

And they will live securely, for then

his greatness

will reach the ends of the earth.

And he will be their peace."

Micah 5:4-5

The prophet Micah also looked to the Messiah, a king who would “be their peace.” (Micah 5:5) Through the prophet Ezekial God promised that He would make "a covenant of everlasting covenant" with His people (Ezekiel 37:24-27). Ephesians tells us that the prophecies spoken of by Isaiah, Micah, and Ezekiel have been fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ ..."He himself is our peace." (Ephesians 2:14) Jesus is the instrument of our reconciliation with God. He is our peace.

“Remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace.” Ephesians 2:12-14

“For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things 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

In pointing to the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy that a child would be born who would be the Prince of Peace, the angels sang at Jesus’ birth, proclaiming,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” 
Luke 2:14

God’s favor rests on those who put their faith in Jesus Christ, the Messiah.

“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.” Romans 5:1-2.

To those who are justified through faith in Christ, Jesus promised not only the peace of reconciliation with God, but that He would be with them always, giving them an abiding peace.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27

Our world has been full of tragedy, despair, conflict, death, and suffering, especially over the past few years. For many it can seem like there is no hope. But God wants us to know His peace in the midst of all of this. To know, that despite all that is going on, all that is going wrong in the world around us, His peace brings us comfort, because His peace is eternal. His peace withstands the trials and hard times we face. His peace brings us into the loving arms of Jesus who will wipe every tear, who will comfort every hurt, who will restore the broken hearted, who will fill you with His love and grace, and who will give you His Spirit to provide you with peace through prayer. True peace comes from knowing, "It is well with my soul".

If you do not feel you have peace with God, then please read the passages I spoke of above that show the way to peace with God through Christ. Pray over them. Then ask Jesus for His forgiveness of your sin. Read Acts 10:43 and Romans 10:9-10 for more. Accept His gift of forgiveness for your sins. Do this and know that you have peace with God and let this Advent season be a time of celebration for His goodness, mercy, and grace in your life.

“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.” 2 Thessalonians 3:16

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