There is the well-known story of a Canadian missionary couple working with Indonesian tribal groups in the 1960’s who became increasingly frustrated with the tribes’ treacherous actions. Threatening to leave unless they stopped killing each other, the tribes took a drastic step to prevent the missionaries’ departure.
Each village presented their enemy with an infant as a peace child and as long as the child lived, the tribes would have peace. When there was an infraction, someone could plead in defense the peace child and hostilities would then cease. This opened up a way for the couple to share the truth about Christ “our Peace Child.”
This Christmas season let us consider Him, the One who offers true and lasting peace (Rom 5.1).
Consider Christ at His birth, when God announced peace on earth to the shepherds (Luke 2.14). Long promised by God through the prophets, the angels proclaimed that the peacemaker had arrived. Though born in time, He is also the eternal Son given to bring peace to this world (Isa. 9.6).
Consider Him at Calvary, when He “made peace through the blood of His cross” (Col 1.20). His purpose in becoming man was realized when He died on the cross. We do not obtain peace with God by Christ’s example, or even His righteous, sinless life. We are saved by believing in the value of His death at Calvary.
He is not an unfortunate martyr; rather, He is a willing substitute, purposely coming, and offering peace through His death.
Consider Him after His resurrection, when He preached peace (Eph 2.17, Luke 24.36, John 20.19, 21, 26).
Hearing His Son on the cross cry “Finished”, the Father gave His “Amen”, the third day raising Him from the dead. Fully satisfied with His completed work, the peace barrier (sin) now removed, reconciliation with God could be preached to the world.
Whether Jew or Gentile, trusting Christ brings peace with God. Christ having removed the middle wall of partition, they both stand on equal ground, members of one body, positionally at peace with each other. This illustrates the truth that God’s peace brings together otherwise disparate people into that common bond in Christ. Whether rich or poor, male or female, slave or free, we are one in Him.
Consider Him after His ascension to heaven, delegating to us the ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor 5.18), ambassadors invested with His authority (Matt 28.18-20) to proclaim His simple yet magnificent peace terms (John 3.16, 20.23). Normally when two factions need to be reconciled there will be negotiations and compromise. God’s terms are different. He doesn’t need to be reconciled to us and does not come half way.
Rather He says we must be reconciled to Him on His terms (2 Cor 5.18). We proclaim a simple message – “Christ crucified” (1 Cor 1.23) – pleading with others that their part is not to work (John 6.29) but instead believe in the sent One who can remove sin and bring peace to their hearts. It’s magnificent because it’s the infinite, holy, transcendent Creator who offers peace to His lowly, fallen, finite creation.
Consider Him returning in the air for us, when we will experience the peace of the blameless, being redeemed body, soul, and spirit (1 Thess 4.13-18, 5.23). Free not only from the guilt, penalty and power of sin, in that day our changed body (1 Cor 15.51) will result in our whole tripartite person being forever free from the presence and possibility of sin. The sin nature gone, there will be lasting peace in our body, soul, and spirit.
Consider Him, the Prince of Peace returning to earth with us, when He will rule the entire planet (Isaiah 9.6). In that day the One who is eternally Righteous (1 John 2.1), and loves righteousness (Heb 1.9), will righteously reign (Heb 1.8). In that day His peaceful reign (Isa 2.4) will extend over the entire earth (Zech. 14.9) when righteousness and peace will kiss (Psa 85.10) in the beauty of His person.
This peaceful kingdom will truly bring “Joy to the World” (Rom 14.17). After a perfect one thousand year reign the Son will deliver up the kingdom to His Father (1 Cor 15.24), in effect saying “finished.” Just like Calvary the Father will express complete satisfaction in His Son’s work. Then “in the ages to come He will show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Eph 2.7).
This Christmas let us consider Him, the One who is our peace (Eph 2.14).