So there are five relationships where the crucified and risen Christ brings peace into your life:
- Peace between us and him. That’s the first and most obvious meaning: he is standing there among them offering them himself as a friend and helper, not a judge.
- Peace between us and God. That’s why God sent him — so that God’s justice and wrath could be satisfied another way besides eternal punishment. God makes peace with us by substituting his Son’s suffering for our penalty. Now he comes to us as a loving Father.
- Peace between us and others who are in Christ. To be reconciled to God is to be reconciled to all who are reconciled to God. No hostility vertically or horizontally. No racism. No ethnocentrism or classism or sexism. “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).
- Peace between us and our own souls. The New Testament letter to the Hebrews says, “The blood of Christ . . . will purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God” (Hebrews 9:14). O the precious peace of a clear conscience. How many people labor under the misery of a defiled, guilty conscience. I read on Thursday the testimony of a woman who had an abortion 8 years ago and who said, “I cannot forgive myself.” I wrote, “That’s what Good Friday is for!” Peace with yourself doesn’t mean that you start seeing past sins as desirable. Peace doesn’t mean that past sins cease to be painful. It means they cease to be paralyzing. The pain may not be taken away immediately, but the penalty is taken away immediately through Christ. And that makes it possible to heal. And to move on with hope-filled life while you do.
- Peace with the world. Yes, when Jesus died he did what needed to be done (Colossians 1:19–20) so that someday, in God’s time, all evil will be cast into outer darkness and the entire new creation will be full of peace and righteousness. “Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end . . . with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore” (Isaiah 9:7).
Peace with Jesus. Peace with God the Father. Peace with others in Christ. Peace with ourselves. And peace with the world. It was an amazing achievement.
Credit: John Piper