Advent: The Peace of Christ

“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.” — Isaiah 9:6-7
“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” — John 14:27

Wreath Directions: Light two purple candles.
Read Aloud: Isaiah 9:6-7; John 14:26-27
Suggested Carol: It Came Upon the Midnight Clear

What brings peace?

We’re all looking for a little peace in our lives — from the mighty to the meek. We put up fences to make peace with the neighbors. We trim our lawns for peace with our HOA. We obey our bosses in order to have peace at work. And we look for the path of least resistance at home so we have peace within our own marriages and our own walls.

In Isaiah, often called the “Fifth Gospel” because of its many prophecies of the person and work of Jesus, the prophet writes,

“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. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end.” — Isaiah 9:6-7

One of the most important things Jesus brings to the world is peace — peace of heart and soul and mind. When a person places faith in the Prince of Peace, several things happen. First, there is an immediate peace between a righteous God and the sinful person. As Paul would write in Ephesians 2, because Jesus died on the cross “you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household.” Regardless of where you came from, you are now at peace with God through Jesus. His wrath toward your sin has been satisfied.

Another element of peace comes through Jesus’ promise to never take His presence away from those who follow Him. He said to his disciples, “I will not leave you as orphans. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me (John 14:18-19).” He sent the Holy Spirit to minister in our hearts on His behalf. Now we can have any measure of peace during tough life circumstances by asking God the Father for peace in Jesus’ name, the Prince of Peace (Phil 4:6-7).

But do we always want true peace from the Prince? Fast forward 33 years from the first Christmas morning.

“When He approached [Jerusalem], He saw the city and wept over it, saying, ‘If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes.’” — Luke 19:41-42

When Jesus reached the hilltop south of Jerusalem, riding on the foal of a donkey, he saw the city walls, the temple, and the crowds gathered to welcome him as messiah and king. It was His last week of public ministry and the crowd was excited to see Him. But his disposition was not one of joy and pride. It was sorrow.

What troubled Him was that the people who lived in the city didn’t know what brought true peace to their lives. And in five days they would reject the peace that Jesus brought into Jerusalem’s walls. They were too busy looking for peace elsewhere. Perhaps many saw peace at the end of a sword. What they missed was the war in their hearts.

But the only lasting peace — a peace with one’s self and with God — can only be found in the person and work of Jesus Christ. The Lord told his disciples in the upper room,

“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” — John 14:27

This Advent season, are you seeking the true Prince of Peace?

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