and his name shall be called
Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6 ESV
For the Hebrews, peace encompassed more than just the absence of war and strife. Peace was the state of perfect existence, the world as it was meant to be. Peace is what we were made for, the nagging feeling in our gut that longs for something better than all of this. Peace is Eden, the garden of God. Peace is paradise, a cosmos uncorrupted by sin. The Savior’s reign as king would not only be marked by this peace; He is the Prince of Peace. Peace pours forth from the very essence of His being.
Of course, Jesus’ coming led to His victory over sin, which is at the heart of what strips away peace. He first came to triumph over sin upon the cross, taking its deadly sting upon Himself in order to rescue us. He will soon come again to kill sin for good and to forever glorify His people. Upon that day, His peace will reign in all its fullness, but even until that day, His cross still brings us peace. Although tumults still rage around, Christ has given us peace with God and peace with one another.
By His sacrifice, we are atoned before the Father, justified by grace through faith in His sight. In Christ, we are no longer exiled from the Father’s presence but are able to boldly approach His throne of grace.
He also brings us peace with one another by uniting us together at His cross. Looking upon our beloved Savior, we each find two points of common ground: our common damnation and our common salvation. We are each equally deserving the eternal fires of hell for our cosmic treason against the King of kings, and we are each equally rescued by grace through faith from this penalty through the vicarious work of Christ applied on our behalf. This is the only solid ground upon which true peace is possible.
As we celebrate the birth of our Lord, His entering into our world as a lowly infant, let us give thanks that He came to bring us peace, both with God and man, now and forevermore.