For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.
(Ephesians 2:14-16 ESV)
Referring to Jesus, mentioned in yesterday’s passage as being the hope of all mankind, both Jew and Gentile, Paul writes that He “is our peace”. Jesus didn’t just come to bring peace. He is peace.
Many people wonder how Jesus brought peace when our world is filled with so much violence and unrest and is seemingly becoming less peaceful every day. The lack of peace in our world is a common objection of those who doubt or deny the existence of God. These people believe that if God exists He could (and should) make this world a peaceful place. While this argument seems to make sense on a human level, we know that God does not think the way we do [Isaiah 55:8-9].
The root cause of the lack of peace is sin. Sin prevents man from having peace with God. It also prevents us from having peace with each other. The root cause of sin is pride. It is very difficult, if not impossible, for peace to exist between any two people, or any two groups of people, who are holding onto their pride.
We saw this during our study of Philippians earlier this year. One of the main themes of Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi was humility for the sake of creating peace [Philippians 2:2, 4:2]. People cannot have peace when they are focused on themselves. Peace only comes from denying oneself.
The human race loves to place people into categories based on their nationality, race, gender, etc. and then inspiring pride – the cause of all sin – in having membership in such divisions. But by doing so we eliminate the possibility of peace. While we know that perfect peace between all human beings will not happen on this earth [Romans 12:18], we know that we cannot have any peace at all except through Jesus.
This is easily proven by looking at the way the world, notably the western nations, have worked feverishly in recent years to remove all references to Jesus from culture. There is no doubt that we have seen a direct correlation between this strategy and the rise of conflicts across all the man-made categories of people on this planet. When we remove Jesus, we remove peace.
The only way to create more peace on this earth is to invite Jesus back into our lives. As a well-known bumper sticker says: “No Jesus, no peace. Know Jesus, know peace”.
Comments? Questions? I’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to contact me about this post.