Day 36: The Peace of the Cross

Colossians 1:19-20
For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

Ephesians 2:14-16
For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.

Isaiah 53:5
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.

If you look at the cross, see the entire scene, perhaps one of the last words that comes to your mind is “peace”. There is such agony and hatred and scorn present there. And yet, the Scriptures tell us that the cross was the greatest instrument of peace in the history of the world. And that peace is not simply a cessation of hostilities but true reconciliation.

Peace was necessary because sin had separated us from God, had alienated us from God, made us enemies of God. There was only one place to look for peace. “I look at the cross of Christ. There I see that sin is so black and damnable, that nothing but the blood of God’s own Son can wash it away. There I see that sin has so separated me from my holy Maker, that all the angels in heaven could never have made peace between us. Nothing could reconcile us, short of the death of Christ.” (J.C. Ryle)

Because Jesus paid the penalty for sin, because he satisfied the just demands of a holy God, because his perfect righteousness is applied to sinners, we are reconciled to God, and have peace with him. And, even more, we have peace with others who have trusted in the Savior. How can enemies be reconciled? “Only then when sinners have been reconciled to God through the cross will they be truly reconciled to each other.” (William Hendriksen)

Have you received the peace that only Christ can bring? Then praise him for his incredible mercy and love. Have you been reconciled to God? Then remember that you are reconciled to other believers, and love and rejoice with them. May the peace of God and the ministry of reconciliation (II Corinthians 5:18-20) flow from us to others.

Peace, perfect peace, in this dark world of sin?
The blood of Jesus whispers peace within.

Peace, perfect peace, by thronging duties pressed?
To do the will of Jesus, this is rest. (Edward H. Bickersteth)