April, 2013

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Peace In A Dangerous World

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. You have heard Me say to you, ‘I am going away and coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, ‘I am going to the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe. I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me. But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, so I do. Arise, let us go from here.” John 14:27-31

gty_boston_marathon_heroes_05_jef_ss_130416_ssh(Bill Greene/The Boston Globe/Getty Images); accessed here: http://abcnews.go.com/US/slideshow/marathon-bystanders-quick-rescue-18967070 4/16/13.

Boston – a city synonymous with historic liberty, literature, academic excellence, and passionate sports fans – joins New York City and London as metropolises that are the victims of horrible bombings.[1] Once again terrible scenes of carnage come across the airwaves with stories of heart-rending tragedy coupled with uplifting heroism. Meanwhile the law enforcement and intelligence agencies of the United States search for answers – and culprits. Regardless of who did this, the horrendous events at the Boston Marathon remind one once again that this world is unsafe, and tomorrow is uncertain. Amid the sorrow and disbelief, it is good to remember that there is a peace which bombs and bullets cannot destroy: the Lord Jesus promises it to those who have a relationship with Him by grace through faith.

Peace In This Dark World Of Sin?

Christ’s promise of lasting peace in John 14 comes against the backdrop of His looming betrayal, arrest, and crucifixion. He is about to go to the cross to offer Himself as a propitiatory sacrifice for sin, and by doing so, will suffer as no one ever has – or ever will – suffer (Is. 52:14.) Later that night, the anticipation of the spiritual judgment that He would experience caused Him to undergo hematohidrosis, the condition of sweating drops of blood (Lk. 22:44.)[2] On the eve of being slandered, unjustly condemned, tortured, and – most terribly – suffering the wrath of God for the sins of the world, how could the Lord speak of peace? The answer lies in considering the benefits that flow to believers from His death and resurrection.

The Blood Of Jesus Whispers Peace Within

The Lord’s work on the cross provides redeemed ones with a righteous standing before God called justification. Romans 5:1 shows that this blessing results in objective peace before God; that is, we are positionally reckoned as being at peace with the Almighty, rather than at war with Him. This suits the believer’s new identity as a child, son, and friend of God. Furthermore, justification opens the way for the Lord to give the Holy Spirit to His people (Rom. 5:5.) The Lord Jesus is going on high where His Father is (John 14:28); in doing so He would give them “another Helper” like Himself (John 14:16-18.) He can speak of peace for His followers because He is going to give them this gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit on Pentecost (Acts 2; all Christians are indwelt and sealed by Him, Eph. 1:13-14; Rom. 8:9.) The Holy Spirit will give them subjective peace to match the objective standing of peace that they have in Christ. This is why Paul could speak so much about joy and life in the midst of various imprisonments and dangers (Phil. 4:4-7; 2 Tim. 1:10-12, 14; 2 Tim. 4:6-8.) Recovery from the tragedies of this fallen world necessitates the Holy Spirit’s work of comfort.

He Fought The Fight, The Triumph Won

The Lord Jesus also refers to His coming meeting with “the ruler of this world,” who is known elsewhere as the devil or Satan (John 14:30; cf. Matt. 4:8-9.) But this fight would be one-sided, for the Son of Man confidently declares: “He has nothing in Me.” Like their earlier altercation in the desert, Christ triumphs over every test and assault; the cross is His supreme victory, which lays the seeds of all future conquests (Heb. 2:9-15; Col. 2:15.) In other words, the Lord Jesus always vanquishes evil. Satan will be thrown into the Lake of fire, joined by all of those who do not obey the Lord’s gospel (Rev. 20:10-15.) This present, painful world shall give way to New Heavens and a New Earth in which righteousness will reign (Rev. 21-22.) As John explains: “And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Rev. 21:3-4.)

Safe In The Arms Of Jesus

   One day the Prince of peace will rule over the new creation from His capital, the New Jerusalem. In the meantime, those who know God through faith in Christ possess supernatural peace, flowing from the God of peace Himself. If you do not have peace today, go to the source: call upon the Lord while you can (Rom. 10:9-13.) This world is heading for judgment, and every day in it is fraught with innumerable dangers. Peace flows from security, and this rare quality is only found in Christ (John 10:27-29.) Only the God who provides salvation in the face of the worst act of terror – the crucifixion of the Son of God – can give safety and peace to those who know Him through faith in Christ.

*My dear friend and brother in Christ, R. Scott Thomson has an excellent post on the Boston marathon massacre at this site.


[1] Of course, terror attacks like this have beset Jerusalem, Beirut, Belfast, Omagh, Moscow, and Madrid – just to name a few places. Sadly, violence is endemic in this world.

[2] For a medical discussion of this phenomenon see: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2810702/