In telling the Shepherds of the birth of Jesus, the Angels filled the sky over them & said, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” – Luke 2:14. This scene is often re-enacted in Christmas plays and programs. It is often quoted when we recount the birth of Christ, but do we really contemplate and understand the importance of this Heavenly Message from the Angels – the messengers of God?
During the holiday season, we often say that we should have love and compassion for our fellow man in this time of year. We also say that old grudges should be forgiven and forgotten, that during this time of year relationships should be mended. We employ the phrase peace, good will toward men to indicate relations between individuals and even countries should be fostered and encouraged. While all of this is good and while this would be pleasing to God, it does not cover the meaning of the Angels as they heralded the birth of Jesus.
He did not come to bring peace between individuals – Jesus said in Matthew 10:34-36, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.”
He did not come to bring peace between nations – Jesus again speaking in Matthew 24:5-7, “For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ: and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that yea be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the tend is not yet.”
So then what is the meaning of the heralded words of the angels? That Christ came, born of the virgin, to bring peace between God and Man.
They had come to these lowly shepherds to tell them of a wonderful thing that had just happened. The Angels came to tell them of the birth of the Savior, the One who would be able to fulfill the promise of God, that peace would be restored between God and man. This restoration of peace was necessary due to the sins committed by man against God. Beginning in the garden and continuing in every heart of every man, woman, & child since, sin has been and remains among men. This sin separates us from God. God hates sin and what it has done to His creation. Sin prevents us from living a holy and just life as God requires of us. Sin which is part of us, who we are, what we are is a direct offense to the very nature of the Lord. He cannot and will not fellowship with sin – there is enmity between God and sin. This enmity is a state of war and ultimately God will destroy it. So, why does He wait? The Bible tells us that “the Lord is very pitiful and full of tender mercy” – James 5:11. His desire is to rescue as many as will from sin and restore us to fellowship with Him. The Lord desires us to have peace with Him.
Peace is sometimes described as the absence of conflict. When we have peace with the Lord it is so much more than just the absence of conflict. When we experience true peace with God, we know that we have passed from sin into eternal life. The peace we receive is the evidence of this transition – as Jesus put it, a new birth. This then means that with the peace that speaks comfort to us after that we believe unto Christ for His forgiveness of our sin – our offenses against the Lord, is eternal. In this new peace which is described in the bible as passing understanding, we also find joy unspeakable and full of glory. These are the gifts from God that were being shared with the shepherds on that night, when in the fullness of time, Christ was born.
How can this peace be made a part of your life? Be Saved!
No one can enter into the Lord’s peace, except they come by the Lord’s plan. To try to come another way, is to deny Christ and is a furtherance of sin. We must become aware that we are sinners – that we personally have offended God and are guilty of those offenses. This is only truly done by the power of the Holy Spirit convicting us of this sin and bringing us to a knowledge of our wickedness. We must also understand that we have no means of foregiveness except that we believe that Christ – the one of who the Angels are speaking, also died and was resurrected from the grave for our sins. He is the means to peace with God, He alone is the Prince of Peace! We must trust Him for our salvation!
True peace is available for all. The Apostle Peter wrote, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” – 2 Peter 3:9
Our prayer today is that the Lord’s peace will find you – That the Holy Spirit of God would bring conviction for your sins upon you, that you would quickly repent and believe with all your heart! That the Peace of the Lord would then fill your heart and bear witness with your spirit that you have become a child of God. – May the Lord bless in this way and may you settle for nothing less than the Peace of God.