Our second Advent candle today reminds us of the peace brought to us and achieved by the Lord Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace. Many will love the fact that FAITH stands for Forsaking All I Trust Him, and GRACE, God’s (or Great) Redemption At Christ’s Expense. But what about PEACE? How about Pardon Experienced At Christ’s Expense or even Propitiation Executed At Christ’s Expense? Both ‘options’ remind us that God’s peace is far more than quietness / calm / absence of warfare. God’s peace – indeed His shalom (meaning harmony, wholeness, contentment etc) – results from Jesus reconciling us to God through His death on the cross, so that our sinful enmity against Him is removed and instead we enjoy His grace, favour and mercy. We are forgiven (Pardoned) because Jesus has fully satisfied the righteous anger of God against our sin (Propitiation) – and so enjoy peace with God and God’s shalom peace itself.
This is all pretty deep, but gloriously true! Perhaps it’s best seen at this time of year in the angels’ declaration to the shepherds: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favour rests” (Luke 2v14). The fields outside Bethlehem were certainly not quiet that night as the “great company of the heavenly host” praised God – and yet their message was all about the greatest peace!
Peace and Grace (all At Christ’s Expense)