For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)
Yesterday we looked at the first half of the fourth name that the prophet Isaiah gave to the Cosmic Christ Child: “Prince of Peace.” Today we will briefly unpack the second half of this glorious name that Isaiah bestowed upon this child that was born, this son who was given to us.
Peace – Entire books have been written about the peace our Lord Jesus Christ brings to this world and His people. In today’s brief article, I will identify two points that I am sure will prove profitable in your life right now, regardless of where this message finds you.
You know that the Hebrew word for peace is shalom, but many people do not know that shalom means much more than an absence of conflict. The full sense of shalom communicates harmony, wholeness, completeness, prosperity, and welfare. When the apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:14 that Jesus is “our peace,” he was reminding us that prior to Jesus showing up in our lives, we were at war with God; we were His enemies (Romans 5:10, Colossians 1:21). This rebellion began, of course, all the way back in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve thumbed their noses at God and went their own way. God underscored this awful estrangement in His first Gospel proclamation in Genesis 3:15, but He also promised He would supply the remedy for this dreadful state of affairs.
I will put enmity between [Satan] and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”
In saying He will put enmity (that is, hostility) between sinners and the serpent, God was making it clear that sinners are friends with Satan and at enmity with God. Before Jesus changes our hearts, we God’s enemies, whether we acknowledge it or not; but when Jesus enters into our lives, He becomes our peace, reconciling us back into a right, harmonious relationship with God.
But that’s not all! After the fall in the Garden, we see that we are not only alienated in our vertical relationship with God, but we are also alienated in our horizontal relationships with each other.
The man said, “The woman you put here with me – she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it,” Then the Lord said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” (Genesis 3:12-13)
After their appalling act of cosmic treason against God, we see the stranglehold that sin had on both Adam and Eve. The man blamed the woman and God for his own sin, the woman blamed the serpent for her sin, and we have been blaming each other ever since. Apart from the Prince of Peace, both our vertical and horizontal relationships are fractured and filled with blame and shame, enmity and hostility. I often tell married couples that your enemy is not the person sleeping next to you every night. No, the enemy is within you; our bitter, deadly enemy is the sin that always crouches at our door, seeking to dominate us (Genesis 4:7).
Here is what we must remember regarding peace as it is set forth in sacred Scripture. True, biblical peace is peace is the presence of Christ. He is our peace, and through our intimate, personal relationship with Him, we receive the first fruit of our justification: peace with God. That peace opens the doorway for us to begin to experience peace with others–all others–by living out the truths of the good news of the Gospel.
Tomorrow, we will bring both names back together to complete our Christmas season study of these four magnificent names for our Lord Jesus Christ.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!