Sunday, July 5, 2009

Portrait of Peace

In studying about peace, I was amazed to see how often Jesus spoke of peace, and how often peace and he were connected to each other throughout scripture.

Even before he was born onto the earth, there was a reference to peace as he was called, "the Prince of Peace."

Isaiah 9:6
For to 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.

Zachariah, John the Baptist's father, sang a song that referenced both his son and the Son of God...Luke chapter one

"76And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High;
for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him,
77to give his people the knowledge of salvation
through the forgiveness of their sins,
78because of the tender mercy of our God,
by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven
79to shine on those living in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the path of peace."

His legacy of peace began before his life did. He was the son of the God of Peace, afterall.

And, as he ministry began he spoke of peace often to those he ministered to, be they those he healed or his disciples.

Mark 5:34
He said to her, "Daughter, (the woman who touched the edge of his cloak) your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering."

Luke 8:48
Then he said to her, "Daughter (the woman who touched the edge of Jesus' robe), your faith has healed you. Go in peace."

Remember what he said when he was one the boat with His disciples on the Sea of Galilee and a storm suddenly came up? "Peace, be still." Mark 4:39 And the wind and waves obeyed Him.

As Jesus was anticipated bringing his earthly ministry to completion, he assured his disciples

John 16:33
"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."

John 14:27
"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."

Jesus must have had an air of peace about him, dont you think? This fella knew what he was doing, and where he was going. Even as he was distraught in the garden, he prayed that "Not my will, but yours" And when the soldiers and Judas came to take him, he was the picture of calm and peace when he told Judas, to "do what you came to do, Friend."

And, as he stood before those who falsely accused him, he remained quiet in the face of abusive questions (Luke 23:9), and as he was lead away to the cross his peace extended to those around him when he prayed, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." Luke 23:34

What a picture to imagine that as the sky darkened and Jesus shouted, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit," he breathed his last.

When appearing for the first time the the disciples three days later, having overcome the world of death he said to them first, "Peace be with you." Luke 24:36

There are so many instances in the life of Christ that his peace was evident. His life was a portrait of peaceful submission to his Father, and the task to which he was committed.

So also in Christ do we find our own peace, "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" Romans 5:1

Only in him, Christ our Prince of Peace, can we find that rest in our spirits, and comfort in our souls. Only in him can we find that thing that everyone desires, but we have within our possession as children of the Kingdom.

My prayer for you this day, "May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 21equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen." Hebrews 3:20

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