In the last week, Christians all over the world celebrated the Passover and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Greetings of “peace be with you” were exchanged. What does His death on the Cross for our sins and His resurrection to life mean?
In the Bible, peace is expressed as a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22). It’s also one of the many titles of God (Isa 9:6); a manifestation of the Kingdom of God (Rom 14:17); a position which we’re to continually exercise and maintain (Rom 12:18); and peace shall be evident in the latter glory of the temple (Hag 2:9).This list is by no means exhaustive. The KJV Bible has 429 Scriptures with the word “peace”. It’s found 397 times in the NKJV, 360 times in the NASU and 275 times in the Complete Jewish Bible.
What is this peace? The Hebrew word is “Shalom” ( שָׁלוֹם ) which embraces harmony, wholeness, completeness, prosperity, welfare and tranquillity. To the person who receives peace, he’s whole and complete in every way which God intended for. He’ll experience prosperity, his welfare will be looked after, and he’ll not be disturbed by worry or anxious thoughts. The Oxford Dictionary describes peace as freedom from disturbance; tranquillity; an absence or end of war, free from civil disorder and the presence of harmony.
Haggai says it this way, “Because of My house which lies desolate, while each of you runs to his own house. Therefore, because of you the sky has withheld its dew and the earth has withheld its produce.” In other words, if you’ll look after and build the House of God, He’ll look after you and your house, and the peace of God is yours to make you whole and complete. Prosperity and peace in the land will be evident when we look after the House of God.
So Haggai encourages Zerubbabel the governor and Joshua the high priest to be bold to build God’s temple for, “‘I will shake all the nations; and they will come with the wealth of all nations, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the Lord of Hosts. ‘The silver is Mine and the gold is Mine,’ declares the Lord of Hosts. ‘The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former,’ says the Lord of Hosts, ‘and in this place I will give peace,’ declares the Lord of Hosts.” Hag 2:7-9 (NASU).
The parallel in our day is this, like Haggai who had to speak to the governor and high priest because everyone was looking to his own and not to rebuilding the temple, the priority is to do the work of God and not to build and have a “me” bigger barn mentality. “Is the seed still in the barn? Even including the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate and the olive tree, it has not borne fruit. Yet from this day on I will bless you.” Hag 2:19.
We’re the spiritual house made up of living stones, to manifest the glory in the latter days. Therefore like a wise master builder, according to the grace given to us, let us build upon the foundation of Jesus Christ.
Now is the time to seek the Lord and we’ve to go! The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few, therefore we will pray to the Lord of the Harvest to send out labourers into His harvest for he who wins souls is wise. Matthew 10 and Luke 10 tells us, we’re to “enter the house of peace, to eat what is set before you, heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the leper and cast out demons.”
And when Jesus was to be taken by the soldiers in John 17 before His crucifixion, He prayed this, “I do not ask the Father to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one” and “I am sending them into the world as My Father sent me.” Therefore, “whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house,’ and if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest on it. But whatever city you enter and they do not receive you, go out into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your city which clings to our feet we wipe off in protest against you; yet be sure of this, that the kingdom of God has come near. I say to you, it will be more tolerable in that day for Sodom than for that city.’” For the Lord says, “there is no peace for the wicked.”
Jesus sent them out as sheep in the midst of wolves, and the Kingdom of God is moving forward, pushing the boundaries from city to city as the Holy Spirit leads. And as the lambs are sent out in the midst of wolves, Jesus says no harm will come to you, rejoice in thanksgiving for your names are recorded in heaven.
The exhortation is – Be strong and courageous for we’ve this Peace of God, this love poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit, so how can we not share? For if when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, how much more having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life in the Resurrection! Hallelujah – Jesus Christ is risen indeed!