Lifelines July 22, 2018

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God (Matthew 5:9).”  How desperately peacemakers are needed.  We are in turbulent times.  Politicians of all persuasions are encouraging confrontation.  The temperature rises.  Anger spills from their lips and incites their followers.  Crowds gather.  Words fly.  Then fists.  Peace remains an unrealized hope and, for some, an unwanted resolution.  They enjoy the fight.

Jesus, the unique Son of God, was the ultimate peacemaker.  His was a costly mission.  It was not a simple negotiation but all-out war, and He came to settle the issue once and for all.  He was not welcomed.  Wickedness is never pleased when light intrudes on the darkness.  He eventually became both casualty and conqueror.  He stepped onto the battlefield armed with grace and truth only to be greeted with rejection and crucifixion.  No, peacemaking is not a cost-free business.

Sin disrupts our standing with God.  It turns our greatest ally into an adversary.  The war is on, and He sent His Son to end it.  The problem lies on the human side not the Divine.  Yet, He took it upon Himself to resolve it.  Our faith rectifies the dislocation between the sinner and his benevolent Creator.  Peace with God comes through “our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1),” a brief phrase packed with meaning.

“Our.”  It is both personal and inclusive.  He is not mine alone.  He is ours.  I am part of a collective group of individuals who have embraced the same Lord.  The result is a body of believers which we know as the church, the family of God. We stand united.

“Lord.” Although, we see multiple words used to describe the relationship between believers and Jesus, this one is frequent.  He is Lord.  All authority has been given to Him in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18).  Having peace and being a peacemaker calls on us to surrender to that authority.  Our mission in life is no longer self-serving but Lord-serving.  He died for us: we live for Him (2 Corinthians 5:14-15).

“Jesus.”  Mary had a son.  There was the human side of Jesus, and He knows the experience because He has been through it.  He is a merciful, faithful high priest because of His time in the flesh (Hebrews 2:17).  He successfully endured the temptations and sympathizes with our dilemma.  Divinity and humanity combined perfectly in one individual.

“Christ.” That is: He is the anointed one.  He was chosen and sent on a mission of forgiveness and reconciliation.  Peacemaking.  There is no other way to have peace with the Father.  He is the only road that leads there.  Without Him, we will forever be at war with our Creator.  It is a no-win situation without Him, just eternal alienation.

Four words that will aid us in being peace-making children of God, “Our Lord Jesus Christ.”  He was the original.  Peacemakers follow.  It’s the family way.