Thursday, December 19, 2013

Prince of Peace

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.  Isaiah 9:6

Paul Harvey told the story of a father whose son had gone off to fight for the union army during the American civil war.  After months of camp fever, his son finally saw battle and was seriously wounded.  News of his son’s wound came to the father on Christmas Eve, and being a poet he sat down and expressed his anguish in a song.  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote: these words as he contemplated that bleak Christmas morning:
And in despair I bowed my head
"There is no peace on earth I said,
For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of Peace on earth goodwill to men."

The final name of Christ here in Isaiah 9:6 is Prince of Peace. We have our own observations that there is no peace on earth. Of all years - this one has shown us the absence of peace.  Man’s inhumanity to man grinds endlessly onward.  Peace for many is connected with quiet; with no conflict.  It is almost as if we define peace by what it is not - war.  If there is no war there is peace.
However, the word that is used in the Old Testament for peace is so much more than that.  Shalom is indeed used to describe the cessation of hostilities, but the word itself also pictures health and wholeness.  It denotes harmony and completeness.  To have shalom is to have not only a quiet life but also to be complete.

Jesus’ coming as our Messiah completed our relationship with God.  But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. Ephesians 2:13-18

He makes peace in this life possible because He has overcome the world.  "But a time is coming, and has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me.  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 16:32-33

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow listened further to those bells and their message came through clearly:
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep;
"God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
Of peace on earth, goodwill to men.”

Scripture to Claim:

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

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