Peace By the Blood

By Dudley Hall Published on March 17, 2015

DUDLEY HALL — “… and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross” (Colossians 1:20 ESV).

Reading the headlines of local newspapers about various wars reminds us all that peace is an illusive goal. Some have concluded that since peace is unattainable the world will end in catastrophic war — soon. They find various authenticating biblical texts to build their hopeless scenarios. Others tend to think that if everybody would give up core beliefs and agree to just being nice, all wars would cease. Others are sure that ignorance is the culprit and when evolution has a chance to produce more developed minds, the archaic wars of past and present will be as nonsensical as the myths of creation and redemption.

God’s take on the situation is that mankind has rebelled against him and his order and brought hostility into creation. He also has taken the solution seriously enough to send his own Son to mediate the hostility by taking it upon himself. By dying a sinless death on behalf of the hostiles, he has made the eternal sacrifice required by eternal justice. Thus by his blood he has made peace.

What kind of peace was purchased? It was a peace that goes far beyond stopping the fighting. It is a restoration of the order of things where God is head and all creation glorifies Him. It is Eden restored, but better. In Eden, they were innocent. In the new creation inaugurated by Jesus’ death, we are redeemed and justified. We know what rebellion can cost. We also know what redemption and reconciliation costs. We now rejoice not only in his majestic creation, we rejoice in his unspeakable mercy. The peace that Jesus bought is not about signing treaties to curtail outward expressions of greed, anger, revenge and hate. It is a peace that restores the proper relationship between Creator and created.

Jesus taught that his disciples were to pray, “… thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” The same peace that exists in heaven where God’s order is fully embraced is what Jesus brought to us. It is peace within and peace without. It can bring order to a life, a marriage, a company, a church, a country, or a world.

We cannot afford to give up on the world Jesus shed his blood to reconcile. We need not wait for him to return to do a job he gave us as ambassadors of heaven. We are not about just getting hostile groups to shake hands. We are about proclaiming a gospel that offers a life of harmony with God and all he has created.

What should be our response to this gracious act of God? I think John Daille says it well:

Oh, over-happy Christians, if you could discern our bliss!  Where is the anguish of spirit, or the trouble of conscience, or the loss, or the suffering, or the reproach, which the mediation of this love should not console?  Who shall condemn us, since the Son of God died to merit our absolution? Who shall accuse us, since his blood and his cross defend us?  Who shall take from us the benevolence of the Father, since he has obtained it for us, and preserves it for us? Who shall pluck out of our hands a life he has given us, a salvation that he has so dearly bought?

Yes indeed. It is time for rejoicing with hope eternal. If reconciliation is paid for already, it is time to make use of it.

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