The Old Testament is full of promises that are dependent on the coming of the Messiah who would be from the line of David and would rule as king. The prophet Isaiah prophesied that this king would not make war but would bring peace.
The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never end. (Isaiah 9: 6-7)
The prophet Isaiah also prophesied about how this Messiah would bring this peace. ‘The punishment that brought us peace was upon him” (Isaiah 53:5). This peace would not come through waging war against His enemies, but by laying down His life for them. It would not come through the demonstration of overwhelming power, but through the agony of crushing weakness.
When the angel appeared to the shepherds to tell them about the baby born in Bethlehem, the angel was not alone. The angel brought an army alongside – not an army of soldiers but an army of angels. And they didn’t come to make war; they came to announce peace. “Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others – the armies of heaven – praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to those whom God is pleased”” (Luke 2: 13-14).
Jesus’ arrival was an effort to turn His enemies into friends. All of us are naturally at war with God deep within our hearts. But Jesus has offered peace to us and has given us grace to overcome our natural opposition to Him. This peace is open to all who have faith to trust in Him, making us one of ‘those with whom God is pleased.”
Jesus brought this peace offer, not through battle or negotiation, but through offering Himself up to death. The Apostle Paul summed it up well in his letter to the Romans “For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son” (Romans 5: 10).
Prayer – Prince of Peace, I thank you for your wonderful peace offer. I had declared war with you within my heart but you still offered me peace. You are a true King and have made me an offer that I could not have achieved on my own. I put my faith in you and will serve in your army of peace and reconciliation.
Song: Come Now, O Prince of Peace
In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.