“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:” (Romans 5:1)
After Jesus was born, an angel appeared to a group of shepherds and announced His birth: “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Luke 2:10-14)
Earth is not a peaceful place. Around Christmas, you may hear songs about peace on earth. One song says, “Someday at Christmas men won’t be boys, playing with bombs like kids play with toys.” Yet wars and violence go on. We hear of politicians trying to negotiate world peace, but it doesn’t seem to last. As long as corrupt governments and terrorist groups continue to operate, there won’t be peace on earth.
Of course, even if corrupt governments and terrorist groups could be stopped, what about violent criminals and the way they terrorize innocent people? If innocent citizens are victimized by robbers, burglars, and drug dealers, they have no peace. If you’ve worked as a cop on Christmas, you know that it’s often just another day for criminals. They’ll break in, steal, rob, and sell drugs the same as always. For people with family problems, as well, Christmas can be difficult; not peaceful at all, but stressful and unhappy.
So where is the “peace and joy” that the angels said Jesus was supposed to bring? The peace that Jesus came to bring is not world peace, neighborhood peace, or even family peace. He came to bring us a far more important peace than those—a peace with God by saving us from our sins. That’s why the angel told Joseph in Matthew 1:21, “…and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.”
Sin separates people from God. Sin makes people not right with God: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Romans 3:23). People have most likely run as you have approached them. Maybe they had drugs, a weapon, or a warrant. At any rate, they were guilty of something and didn’t have peace with you, so they ran. You’ve probably also had people hand you an ID and stand calmly as you patted them down or ran a warrant check. They knew they had nothing hanging over them. They had peace with you.
In a way, that’s the peace that Jesus came to give us with God, the peace of knowing that you have no offenses hanging over your head. We’ve all sinned and done things to offend God and not to have peace with Him: “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God” (Isaiah 59:2). We’ve all done things to deserve death and hell: “For the wages of sin is death;” “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire.” (Romans 6:23, Revelation 20:14). Yet Jesus, God the Son, Emmanuel, “God with us”, became a man so He could one day take our sins upon Himself at the cross: “…the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6). Jesus died and was buried, but rose again! “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen;” (Revelation 1:18).
When a sinner receives Jesus as personal Saviour, the Lord gives him the peace of knowing that his sins are forgiven, that he has Jesus’ indwelling presence, and that he has a home in heaven for eternity. That’s the peace with God that Jesus came to bring. Nothing in the world is so precious as the peace of having Jesus as your personal Saviour. If you would like to know more, please go to www.clevelandbaptist.org, click “How do I go to Heaven?” under Helpful Links on the menu bar.
Brian Miller 12/23/2015
Cleveland Baptist Church | 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 | 216.671.2822