“Again he said, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” (John 20:21 NKJV)
One of the most sought after, and yet the most elusive of all human experiences is peace. The world wants peace and spends billions of dollars annually in search of it, without making any headway. One of the big dreams of the United Nations is a peaceful world without wars. But since its founding in 1948, the world has become more acrimonious than ever. Militant Islam has created several hotspots of violence across the world and the blood of innocent people is steadily being shed. Our world today is replete with ethno-religiously motivated violence that has robbed us of our sense of peace. The spat of armed robbery, kidnapping and other forms of violent crimes constitute steady breaches to peace and harmony in our society. This is hardly the world God set out to create!
God envisioned and created a world where human beings can live in peace and harmony with Him and with one another. Sin was the spanner that undid our peace. Through sin, man introduced disorder into God’s order and thereby rejected the peace God had meant for us. We lost peace at four distinct levels: We lost peace with God, we lost peace with ourselves –internal peace, we lost peace with one another, and we lost peace with creation. Man’s embrace of sin means his forfeiture of peace. Our Lord came to free us from this deadly embrace of sin and make peace between God and us. Hence, Paul explained, “God was in Christ, making peace between the world and himself. In Christ, God did not hold the world guilty of its sins. And he gave us this message of peace.” (2 Corinthians 5:19 NCV). Christ died on the cross to make peace between God and sinful humans. He becomes the bridge through which we can all go back to our Father.
Before He went to the cross, He promised His disciples, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27 NKJV). I consider this a promise because the basis for peace had not yet been formalised by His death and resurrection. God could not make peace with humans on any other ground. The Scripture therefore testifies, “But now in Christ Jesus, you who were far away from God are brought near through the blood of Christ’s death” (Ephesians 2:13 NCV). The Blood of Christ is the vehicle of peace with God. When one comes to Christ by faith, that Blood wipes away all the tokens of enmity with God and unites him or her with the family of the Father.
When Jesus proclaimed peace to the disciples on the resurrection morning, it was more than mere words. It was a conferral of heavenly peace to them. This peace implied that they are “set at one again” with God, with themselves, with one another and the creation at large. From that moment on, anybody can enjoy peace with God simply by coming in simple faith to Christ and accepting Him as Saviour and Lord. Jesus is the author of our peace. True and lasting peace flows only from His Presence. Wherever, He presences Himself, there you will find peace. He is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). Anywhere He reigns, there is peace. He is the Lord of peace who will always give one peace in every way (2 Thessalonians 3:16).
How do we enjoy the resurrection blessing of peace with God that our Lord provided for us? The prophet Isaiah gives us a clear answer to this question. “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You” (Isaiah 26:3 NKJV). To enjoy the peace of God, you must intentionally “stay” your mind on God. To stay one’s mind on God means to lean upon or to take hold of God, to keep Him constantly on the screen of your mind and cherish beautiful thoughts of God’s dealings with you. It is to think about God and talk to him intermittently all through the days. It is to pull back from your occupations from time to time to reflect on His love for you and humanity at large. May the peace of God reign in your heart as you learn to lean on Him all through your life in Jesus’ name.