“You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.” Acts 10:36
Peace seems especially good news to me right now! How about you? “Rest, quietness, set at one again, and, by implication, prosperity” are how Strong’s Concordance defines this word. In loud world full of self-assertion and competing opinions, true peace seems to be a far-fetched dream.
When my son was young, he learned and sang with this class mates the precious song, Let There Be Peace on Earth and Let It Begin with Me, in a school Christmas program. I can still see his angelic 7 year old face with white robe and red bow. I can remember how sweet it all seemed, but then the next day rolled around and these little angels were now arguing about who wasn’t playing by the rules in the playground football game. If peace must begin with us, we are in big trouble.
Interestingly, when Peter spoke the words recorded by Luke in Acts 10:36, he was just coming to understand the good news of peace meant more than he had realized. Peter, so close to Jesus, entrusted by Him with the first sermon at Pentecost and now with sharing the gospel at what is referred to as the “Gentile Pentecost,” Peter was realizing that the good news about Jesus Christ goes farther than he had understood. In his words to Cornelius, we can almost see God transforming Peter’s understanding. Yes, the message came to the people of Israel, but it is going out to the whole world, and it is good news of peace that begins and is secured by Jesus Christ who is Lord (master, supreme authority) over all (all things, all people, all creation).
This Christmas, I wonder if God might be inviting those of us who have known Him for a while, those of us who have celebrated his birth at Christmas for our whole lives, to leap forward in our understanding of the good news about Jesus Christ?
Do we celebrate a Savior who has paid our sin debt and secured our eternal lives? Do we celebrate a teacher who gives out astonishing truth? Do we celebrate an 2nd Adam who is our example in obeying where the first Adam failed? Do we celebrate a Light that no darkness can extinguish? Do we celebrate a Lord who had condescended to be born to a woman so that He could die in our place in order that we might have enduring peace once and for all with our God, with ourselves, and with others? Do we celebrate a slaughtered yet standing Lamb who is a King and is returning to banish evil and consummate His victory over sin and death forever in a New Heaven and New Earth?
The good news of peace through Jesus Christ does mean every believer’s sins are covered, their eternal life is secure, truth is revealed, obedience is possible, and light has come…AND it means even more. Some have said the gospel is like a diamond, as we look at the good news about Jesus in each book of the Bible, we see more of its beauty, marvel at more of its brilliance. How can you spend these next weeks leading up to Christmas understanding more about the good news of peace through Jesus who is Lord of all? What will it to look like for you to submit to the truth you learn?
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. http://www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Offices by Biblica, Inc.™