Your Post-Easter Peace

While reflecting during a Good Friday service, I was struck by a truth from Isaiah chapter 53, the great prophetic passage about Jesus the Messiah, the Suffering Servant. I’ve read this passage countless times and even memorized it. Yet, this single phrase captured my heart with fresh intrigue: “Upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace” (Isaiah 53:5).

The other familiar yet powerful phrases of this specific verse remind us of the truly amazing blessings that have come through the sacrifice of Christ. “He was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities . . .and with his wounds we are healed.” Praise God for His inexpressible gift to us in the work of Christ (1 Corinthians 9:15)!

But notice this again, “upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace.” Peace! Don’t we all need a major dose of this? Our world is in desperate need of a divinely granted ceasefire of international conflict, violent rhetoric, and relational infighting. Christ died to provide supernatural peace.

Peace! Don’t we all need a major dose of this? Our world is in desperate need of a divinely granted ceasefire of international conflict, violent rhetoric, and relational infighting. Christ died to provide supernatural peace.

In the original meaning, peace speaks of completeness, soundness, and well-being. Just as a young mother might have the negative experience of post-partum depression because of what her body has been through, we can experience a positive post-Easter peace because of what His body endured. As I have contemplated our great need for this peace, and the incredible work of Christ, a few helpful applications have come to mind.

Sin Destroys Peace

Sin destroyed peace. Sin is the violation of the relationship between man and a holy God. Sin shattered the perfect peace of the Garden of Eden. Sin disrupted the first family when Cain killed Abel. For millennia, sin has been the source of troubled hearts, broken marriages, distressed families, divided churches, and warring nations. Behind it all is one who came to “steal, kill and destroy” (John 10:10).

We Cannot Attain Peace

All human efforts to create peace always have and always will fail because no manmade solutions can remove sin. True and lasting peace required the Father’s chastisement and forgiveness of our sin, through the substitutionary death of His perfect Son. This was the only way to provide real and lasting peace. Colossians 1:20 tells us that the Father worked “through him (Christ) to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.”

All human efforts to create peace always have and always will fail because no manmade solutions can remove sin.

Still, today, our world strives for peace through an abundance of superficial and deficient means by way of treaties, reforms, and resolutions. Individuals pursue temporal relief through relaxation techniques, behavioral modification, vacations, therapies, and even drugs and alcohol. Yet, real peace is elusive via mere human endeavor.

Only Divine Grace Provides Peace

Only the undeserved favor of God in Christ has, does, and will provide ultimate peace. Our need for peace compels us to cast ourselves daily upon the grace of God to do in us, for us, and through us what only Christ can do. It is notable that throughout the New Testament the dual greeting and benediction of “grace and peace” are reiterated, not as a throw-away phrase, but as the core need of every Christ follower. In every letter Paul and Peter wrote they began with the blessing and prayer, “grace and peace.” We must remember, every day (and every minute of every day), that we cannot achieve peace. Rather, we must receive peace from the Savior whose sacrifice made it possible.

Only the undeserved favor of God in Christ has, does, and will provide ultimate peace. Our need for peace compels us to cast ourselves daily upon the grace of God to do in us, for us, and through us what only Christ can do.

 

We must remember, every day (and every minute of every day), that we cannot achieve peace. Rather, we must receive peace from the Savior whose sacrifice made it possible.

Peace Works Inside Out

Clearly, peace does not operate from the outside in, but from the inside out. As has often been said, “Peace is not the absence of conflict. Rather, it is the presence of Christ.” He is the great Prince of Peace. Thus, peace does not depend on our circumstances; His peace transcends our circumstances. The fruit of the life of the Spirit of the resurrected Christ within us is peace (Galatians 5:22). Jesus promised that the peace He gives us is not like the world’s, but that His peace is rooted in His overcoming life in us (John 14:27). When difficult situations press us with anxieties, the peace of God can rule our hearts and overrule all tumultuous outside influences (Philippians 4:4-6).

“Peace is not the absence of conflict. Rather, it is the presence of Christ.” He is the great Prince of Peace.

We are Agents of His Peace

Jesus linked our very identity and role in this world with the reality of peace. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9). The New Testament commands and expects a testimony of peaceableness in our relationships (Romans 12:18; Hebrews 12:14). We are to prioritize prayer in the church, so “that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way” (1 Timothy 2:2). As we live by God’s wisdom, rather than the world’s, we will be peaceable and demonstrate the truth that “a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace” (James 3:17-18).

We are to prioritize prayer in the church, so “that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way” (1 Timothy 2:2).

The God of Peace Wins!

Our confidence in the character of God assures us that His peace is our overcoming reality in this troubled and evil world. Writing to persecuted Christians in Thessalonica, Paul affirmed, “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way” (2 Thessalonians 3:16). The writer of Hebrews concluded his letter by assuring his readers that “the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus” would surely “equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight” (Hebrews 13:20-21). Let this strong assurance fill you with hope: “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet” (Romans 16:20).

Our confidence in the character of God assures us that His peace is our overcoming reality in this troubled and evil world. Writing to persecuted Christians in Thessalonica, Paul affirmed, “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way” (2 Thessalonians 3:16).

So What?

As a result, here are a few practical applications for your mind, soul, marriage, family, and other relationships:

  1. Look to the crucified and risen Christ alone for peace as you cherish pure and authentic fellowship with Him.
  2. Trust His grace for day-by-day and moment-by-moment peace as He lives in and through you by the reality of His triumphant peace.
  3. Think and live as a peacemaker because this is your identity and mission in this world.
  4. Remember with calm, Spirit-given assurance that the God of Peace wins, no matter how troubled this world appears.

Think and live as a peacemaker because this is your identity and mission in this world.

So today, let peace like a river attend your way. You can live in an abiding post-Easter peace. Remember the price Christ paid for the privilege and power of personal peace and sing with all your heart, “It is well with my soul!”

Remember the price Christ paid for the privilege and power of personal peace and sing with all your heart, “It is well with my soul!”

Copyright © 2019 Daniel Henderson. All rights reserved.