The True Peacemaker

David Landegent

READ : 2 Corinthians 5:18-21

. . . and through him to reconcile to himself all things . . . making peace by the blood of his cross. (Col. 1:20)

Nearly everyone likes peace—and politicians know it. Even the most violent leaders want their people to believe that they are fighting for peace. It's a message we like to hear. In Paul's day, many were so thankful for Roman rule that they worshiped the emperor by giving him the official title of “Peace-maker.” An inscription in Asia Minor praises the emperor as one “who has made war to cease and ordered the world with peace.”

Paul disagreed with the masses of the Roman empire, for he saw a huge difference between Jesus and the caesars, especially in their methods of peacemaking. The caesars imposed their peace through military action, even going so far as to crucify rebels. Jesus, however, brought peace, not by crucifying anyone, but by being crucified himself for the sake of all those who have rebelled against God. The emperors ruled for a while with an iron hand, but Jesus rules forever with nail-scarred hands. The only bloodshed that can truly bring lasting peace is the blood that Jesus shed on the cross.

Even now Jesus is reaching out his nail-scarred hands to you and me and the whole world in a gesture of peace. In the words of an old song, we are invited to “use [our] own two hands, with one reach out to Jesus and with the other, bring a friend.” Or even an enemy.

PRAYER

Thanks be to you, O Lord, for the peace we have in Christ.