During this Christmas season we are bound to encounter the words “Peace on earth” either in song, a card or from a pulpit. With all the never-ending turmoil, the violence and unrest we see daily around the world, it’s hard to even imagine living in a state of calm. No matter how much we pray for peace, it seems virtually impossible.
Even Jesus whom the prophet Isaiah called the Prince of Peace said, “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother…a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.” [Matthew 10: 34-36 NIV] What does that mean?
We can clearly see that human nature will not allow mankind to be at rest alone on its own. It’s like a dam that’s sprung a leak – we plug one hole and another springs up. It’s one crisis after another.
However, God our Creator, in His loving kindness sent His only begotten son to be our peace. This peace that surpasses all understanding is the same peace that was miraculously conceived, born in a manger, and is now given freely to those who will accept it. This peace is what Jesus referred to as a (spiritual) sword that will cause division. It’s not about family, nationality, ethnicity or denomination; but rather that we either accept Jesus Christ as our Savior or we reject Him. The peace He brings is the Holy Spirit that dwells within us if we believe, trust and obey God’s Word (the Bible).
So you see, we can have peace even in a sin-sick world that seems bent on destroying itself. Jesus came to reconcile man to God. He declared that no man can come unto the Father but by Him. He paid man’s sin debt on the cross and opened the doorway to Heaven.
Before Jesus said on the cross “It is finished” no better demonstration could be given than the two thieves who were crucified with Him – one on His right; the other on His left. One rejected Him; the other accepted Him. Only if we believe and trust Jesus for our salvation will we truly have peace on earth. His peace is God’s gift to the world.