Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Advent Day 16: Jesus Came to Preach Peace

[17] And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. [18] For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 
(Ephesians 2:17-18 ESV)

World War 1 was one of the deadliest in history.  Over 15 million people died as a result of the war. The war was filled with fierce and brutal battlefields.  Even so, during the first year of the war, something unexpected happened in the week leading up to Christmas.

In 1914, during the Christmas holiday season, armed forces in certain areas of the war laid down their weapons.  British and German troops left their trenches and met each other in the middle of the battlefield to talk and wish one another a merry Christmas.  Gifts were given, some prisoners were exchanged, and each side allowed the other to recover the bodies of their fellow soldiers.  Some even speculate that the two sides in some locations may have enjoyed a spontaneous game of European football (you know, the thing we call soccer).

Of course, the truce was short-lived.  Within days the soldiers were using the hands that embraced one another to shoot one another.  Instead of exchanging gifts and pleasantries they were now exchanging gunfire and artillery.  There was peace, but it was short-lived. 

That's the problem with all human achievements of peace, they never last.  No matter how hard humanity has tried to achieve peace on earth, sin always creeps in and destroys those efforts.  Pride, greed, revenge, and foolishness all ruin the day.

Jesus, however, comes with a different kind of peace.  Ephesians 2:17 says that Jesus came to preach peace.  How was this man able to bring peace?  Because, verse 18 says "through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father." Jesus met our deepest need for peace; our need to be at peace with God the Father.  

Not only does Jesus preach peace, but Ephesians 2:14 says that "he himself is our peace." On the cross, Jesus was able to accomplish peace by bearing the wrath that we deserved from God the Father. "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1).

Jesus came to preach peace because he is our peace.  This is why the angels announced to the shepherds, "peace on earth."  Peace arrived in the baby Jesus.

Advent Day 1

Advent Day 2

Advent Day 3

Advent Day 4

Advent Day 5

Advent Day 6

Advent Day 7

Advent Day 8

Advent Day 9

Advent Day 10

Advent Day 11

Advent Day 12

Advent Day 13

Advent Day 14

Advent Day 15

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