Saturday, April 19, 2008

Peace With God

Jesus died on the cross to purchase peace with God for me—and he’s in heaven now to maintain that peace, for me and in me. The peace we have with God through Christ distinguishes our faith from all other religions.

In every other religion besides Christianity, the sin question is never settled. Sin’s dominion simply hasn’t been broken. Therefore there can be no peace: “There is no peace, saith the Lord, unto the wicked” (Isaiah 48:22). But we have a God who provides peace by pardoning sin. This is the very reason Jesus came to earth: to bring peace to troubled, fearful humankind.

How does Jesus maintain God’s peace for me? He does it in three ways:

• First, Christ’s blood removed the guilt of my sin. In this sense, Paul says, “He is our peace” (Ephesians 2:14). Jesus made peace for me through his blood.
• Second, Christ maintains my peace and joy in believing: “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost” (Romans15:13).
• Third, Jesus causes me to rejoice at the hope of entering glory: “We…rejoice in the hope of the glory of God” (Romans 5:2).

Simply put, peace is the absence of fear. And a life without fear is a life full of peace.

When Jesus ascended to heaven, he didn’t just bask in the glory that God bestowed on him. No, he went to the Father to maintain the hard-won peace he achieved for us at Calvary.

Our Savior is alive in glory right now. And he’s both fully God and fully human, with hands, feet, eyes, hair. He also has the nail scars on his hands and feet, the wound in his side. He has never discarded his humanity; he is still a man in glory. And right now, our man in eternity is working to make sure we’re never robbed of the peace he gave us when he left. He’s ministering as our high priest, actively involved in keeping his body on earth full of his peace. And when he comes again he wants us to “be found of him in peace” (2 Peter 3:14).

When I sin, my peace is interrupted in two areas. First, my conscience troubles and accuses me, and rightly so. But, second, Satan’s accusations put fear in me. I believe these are the two primary areas where Christ’s intercession applies to us.

First, my high priest won’t permit my conscience to hold me captive. Nor will he allow Satan’s accusations against me to go unchallenged. Christ is my advocate with the Father against every accusation from hell. What is an advocate? It is simply “my friend in court.” For Christians, this friend in court is also the son of the judge. In addition, our advocate is our brother. In fact, we are set to inherit the judge’s fortune along with him.