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Our Peace...continued

Our Peace

. . . the chastisement of our peace was upon Him... Isaiah 53:5

As we approach the end of 2017, many will struggle because of the lack of peace. I write the blog to give hope and encouragement through the holy scriptures, that God's children may receive all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus.

Peace is not only a privilege for the children of God, but a God-given right. Christ legally purchased it with His own blood. Through redemption, we—have—peace. With that said, it is imperative that we revisit in depth how it was obtained, so that we may be careful to cherish this wonderful blessing and not to forfeit peace.

As recorded in the Old Testament, the prophet Isaiah paints a vivid picture, in striking detail, of the Messiah’s impending death (Isaiah 53). Here, Christ is seen as a gentle lamb led to the slaughter. I can’t help but wonder what Jesus’ thoughts were as he read the scriptures concerning Himself throughout his earthly life. I mean, to know that you’re going to die is one thing. But to know just how you will die is another. One might even be more perplexed to find that the Savior, whom we love so dearly, went all the way to the cross with joy. How unlikely it seems that we would acquire peace by way of someone’s punishment. Therein lies the great mystery of God (see Ephesians 3:3-4). By the Spirit Isaiah sees, far into the future, a man rejected and despised. Arriving at the New Testament, we see the same man revealed as Jesus the Messiah, who went about doing only good deeds. At the end, he was given over to a crowd of vicious men. They stood before Pontius Pilate, and with growling voices, insistently cried out, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” Soon they got what they wanted—Jesus of Nazareth, condemned with the criminals. And off went our scourged Lord to Golgotha’s hill. Not a soul had the slightest clue of the eternal consequence.

Stepping backward for a moment, I must reflect on the scene in the garden the night before His betrayal. There the Lord knelt, trembling at the thought of the task ahead. Praying to His Father He said, “Let this bitter cup pass from me.” Three times he sought the Father, desiring to relinquish his divine purpose. So bitter was that cup that the Lord anguished until his sweat rolled down his face like great drops of blood. But in conclusion, the Savior’s voice echoes throughout time and eternity: “Nevertheless, not my will, but thine.” Chastisement seems too small a word for what the lowly Savior was about to endure. In retrospect, all the hordes of hell were unleashed against Him, a punishment so brutal and so horrific that Isaiah writes, “we hid, as it were, our faces.” Despite it all, He didn’t open his mouth; He held his peace for our peace. Jesus went through hell and to hell for us. Ah! What does this reveal? The Father did not spare His Son, but handed Him over freely on our behalf.

He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him freely give us all things? – Romans 8:32

You see, all things includes peace. Only the Great Jehovah knew what was acceptable to bring peace to His children. Animal sacrifice couldn’t satisfy this— money surely couldn’t buy it. If silver and gold could have bought it, Jehovah would have turned to the coffers of heaven. None of these things would justify. The price had to be paid with something that was greater, something eternal: the sweet smell of the holy and innocent blood of the only begotten Son. So it is our peace. The Bible declares, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: —Ephesians 1:3

We can see in this verse it is a spiritual, eternal “shalom,” which is the Hebrew word for peace. It has a deeper meaning—wholeness, completeness—perfect and full; encompassing healing, safety, soundness, and prosperity; the absence of conflict. All these are rightly yours and mine to receive freely. Beloved, free it is, but cheap it is not. Listen to GOD’S WORD translation: Yet, it was the Lord’s will to crush him with suffering. When the Lord has made his life a sacrifice for our wrongdoings . . . In the eyes of Jehovah, someone had to suffer. The innocent for the guilty, the righteous for the unrighteous. The peace that His Son deserved was forfeited so that we may freely receive the peace we didn’t deserve. True criminals we were. It should have been you and me suffering in agony. But out of a love that surpasses all knowledge, the sacrificial death of the Lamb overrode judgment’s demands as Mercy rose up and said, “No! I will take their place.”

In Conclusion: All the world cast their eyes on the broken, lifeless body of a man who claimed to be the Messiah. No doubt the prince of darkness reckoned that it was now over for good. I imagine he even shouted, “I have smitten the Great Shepherd!” A victory for the entire underworld. However, it was premature—short-lived, if you will. Unknowingly, he was an instrument playing right into the hands of the very plan of God. Meanwhile, every promise the Father decreed for mankind was about to be released. Hallelujah! The Bible declares: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world for our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. —I Corinthians 2:7-8

Satan may very well have bruised our Lord’s heel, but Jesus Christ crushed His head! He rose from the dead with all power in heaven and earth. Might we declare alongside our victorious Lord, O death where is your sting? O grave where is your victory? (1Corinithians 15:55). What can I say? We can surely rejoice in this! The passions of Christ were planned from the beginning.

And so, the saga continues . . . Thus, on the eve of Jesus’ resurrection, the earth was shaken, darkness appeared, and the veil rent! Our risen Lord then journeyed through the city of Jerusalem and walked through the walls of the room where His disciples sat behind tightly shut doors. Despondent and afraid, they had forgotten His Word: “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19). Standing in their midst, Jesus spoke unto them, saying, Peace be to you (John 20:19). Much needed words for such trying times. Suddenly, their attention shifts—all troubles vanish in an instant as they pondered what their eyes saw. It is no wonder the disciples were astonished and filled with disbelief. Not ever did one die and rise from the dead. The Lord eagerly reveals powerful evidence, saying, “It is I! Behold my nail-pierced hands and the sword wound at my side” and then were the disciples glad (John 20:20). How amazing that in the midst of turmoil there can be gladness. That’s what peace does. It’s so amazing that it will make you question, “Why am I not disturbed by this situation?” Even though everything round about dictates upset, the promise of his presence yet abides, hence the spirit is at rest. Stop trying to figure it out. Remember, beloved, it’s the peace that surpasses all understanding. It shall keep you heart and mind through Christ (Philippians 4:7).

I leave this with you, beloved child of God;

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever - Hebrew 13:8

Although these may be trying times, the promise of peace is available. Jesus Christ, the unchanging God, is speaking the same words to you today—Peace be to you.

The chastisement of our peace was upon him . . . punished for your sake? Yes, He was indeed! Dear beloved, how many times must our Lord speak peace to you before you relinquish the spirit of worry and fear? Why should your soul be cast down any longer? Why should your heart be troubled . . . when we have as our God the Prince of Peace?

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be on His shoulder; And His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace - Isaiah 9:6

As we approach the end of 2017, I pray: that you, your children and your children's children, experience HIS abundant peace; May Father God encamp His angles round about you and keep you in all your ways; May The Lord make his face sine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee; In the mighty name of Jesus. Amen

Pastor Anita Joe

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