CHRIST FOR THE CRISIS: The Prince of Peace
Christ for the Crisis
The Prince of Peace
Luke 2:8-14 and John 16:33
December 23, 2018
Dr. Steve Horn
Text Introduction: Isaiah prophesied some 700 years before the birth of Christ that “a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, and Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6) Today we consider Jesus as the “Prince of Peace.” We live in a world looking for peace. Why can we be certain that we can find peace in Jesus? That’s part of the message of Christmas, is it not? Well, for starters, peace was the message of the angels the night that Jesus was born. Look here in Luke 2.
Text: (Luke 2:8-14)
In the same region, shepherds were staying out in the fields and keeping watch at night over their flock. 9 Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people:11 Today in the city of David a Savior was born for you, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be the sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped tightly in cloth and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying:
14 Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and peace on earth to people he favors!
And, peace was the message of Jesus, Himself, before He died.
I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.”
Introduction: H. G. Wells, author of The War of the Worlds, as well as many other works, is reported to have said, “Here I am at sixty-five, still seeking for peace.” Though maybe not voiced exactly that way, I wonder how many other people have felt the exact same thing. Our world is made up of billions seeking peace. The good news is that we have the promise of peace in Jesus. Though, this might seem like an unusual text for the Sunday before Christmas, I think this is the perfect text, because “Peace is in a person—and that person is Jesus!”
- He was prophesied by Isaiah as the “Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)
- The angels declared the night of His birth, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to people He favors.” (Luke 2:14)
- Jesus, Himself, said, “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Your heart must not be troubled or fearful. (John 14:27)
- And Paul declared, “and through Him to reconcile everything to Himself by making peace through the bloodof His cross—whether things on earth or things in heaven. (Colossians 1:20)
Indeed, as you have heard a moment ago in song, “It’s all about the cross.” The cradle led to the cross.
And so, we jump from the manger to the moments leading up to the arrest of Jesus.
Peace! Out in the world, you will have tribulation, but Jesus says, “In Me,” you have peace. The question is this. How can we be certain? Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you.” On this Sunday before Christmas, let us remind ourselves of those things that Jesus had just immediately said so that we will understand how “in Him,” we may have peace.
The Place He has Prepared!
The first reason that in Christ is peace is because of the “place that He has prepared.”
“Don’t let your heart be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.2 In my Father’s house are many rooms; if not, I would have told you. I am going away to prepare a place for you. 3 If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to myself, so that where I am you may be also. 4 You know the way to where I am going.”
5 “Lord,” Thomas said, “we don’t know where you’re going. How can we know the way?”
6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Characteristics of Heaven:
There is much that we ought to say about Heaven, but from this text, notice these characteristics.
- Real Place
- Residence of Jesus
- Reserved for Believers
The Presence He has Promised!
Here’s the second reason we can have peace. We spent a whole lesson a few weeks ago on the Spirit as our Wonderful Counselor. Here are those texts again.
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. 17 He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive him because it doesn’t see him or know him. But you do know him, because he remains with you and will be in you.
18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I am coming to you.
John 16:5-15, especially 13-15
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth. For he will not speak on his own, but he will speak whatever he hears. He will also declare to you what is to come. 14 He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. 15 Everything the Father has is mine. This is why I told you that he takes from what is mine and will declare it to you.
We must remember that the Holy Spirit is the one
Called alongside of us.
Just as Jesus was God with us, so is the Spirit.
Just as Jesus was a Teacher, so is the Spirit.
The God who came still comes. The God who taught still teaches. The God who spoke still speaks.
The Principle He has Prescribed!
What else did Jesus say? Here is the third reason that in Christ is peace.
“This is my command: Love one another as I have loved you.
We will not have peace with God, until we have peace with one another.
Does this Christmas season have you so at odds with someone that you have no peace? The Bible tells us that, “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.” (Romans 12:18) Again in Hebrews, the Bible tells us to “pursue peace with all people.” (Hebrews 12:14)
The Prayer We might Petition!
Here’s the fourth reason. We can pray about everything.
“In that day you will not ask me anything. Truly I tell you, anything you ask the Father in my name, he will give you. 24 Until now you have asked for nothing in my name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.
Jesus was telling the disciples that there would be a time when they would not be so filled with questions, but instead they could take their concerns to Him in prayer. But, there was one qualification. This needs to be our qualification.
The Qualification: in His name.
The Power He has Proven! (John 16:33)
But, still some want to ask, “But how can I know that in Him is peace.” It’s easy when we consider the resurrection. That’s why Jesus, after His resurrection, said, “Peace to you.”
So, what are we to do? Since peace is a person, we must first of all receive into our lives the “Prince of Peace.” Then, we are to let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts. (Colossians 3:15) In 1555, Nicholas Ridley was burned at the stake because of his witness for Christ. On the night before Ridley's execution, his brother offered to remain with him in the prison chamber to be of assistance and comfort. Nicholas declined the offer and replied that he meant to go to bed and sleep as quietly as ever he did in his life. Because he knew the peace of God, he could rest in the strength of the everlasting arms of his Lord to meet his need. So can we!