What do you think of when you think of the word “peace?” I think of sitting in a comfy chair near a fireplace, in a quiet room with strains of classical music in the air, and an engaging book in my lap. It is calm, there is a sense of quiet, contentment, and all is well with me and those around me.
God has a slightly different definition of peace from mine. A word most frequently used for peace in the language of the New Testament is eiréné. Eiréné primarily means “one,” as in to join, to tie together into a whole. This definition makes sense, since a lack of peace is when there is disagreement, dissonance, and fighting.
Peace – Oneness
We have seen the oneness that is implied in the word peace. We have seen it in the relationship of Jesus and Father God. Jesus describes this oneness in John 17:22 – 23:
- “I have given them the glory that You gave Me, that they may be one as We are one— I in them and You in Me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent Me and have loved them even as you have loved Me.”
And prior to this prayer in John17, Jesus clearly stated that “I and the Father are one,” in John 10:31. Jesus and the Father are in total harmony and peace; they are as one whole entity.
Peace can also mean a state of secure welfare, as in the promise of Philippians 4:6-7 that states when we give thanks to God and pour out our requests to Him, He will give us a peace, that is, a sense of security and well-being in the midst of trouble.
- “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:6-7
Peace Implies War
If there is talk of peace then there has been enmity or war. In order to understand that Jesus is the Prince of Peace, we need to know that there was/is a war.
We see in scripture that there is a spiritual war going on of the Light versus the Dark. There is a war between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan. This is clearly outlined in Ephesians 6:11-17.
We can trace this war as far back as the early chapters of the Bible. In Genesis 3 we see enmity between God and the Dark One:
“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He (Jesus) will crush your head, and you will strike His heel,” Genesis 3:15.
Also, there is an internal war of the flesh versus the spirit within each one of us. This is depicted in passages such as James 4:1; 1 Peter 2:11 and Galatians 5:17.
- What causes conflicts and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from the passions at war within you? James 4:1
- Beloved, I urge you as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from the desires of the flesh, which war against your soul. 1Peter 2:11
- For the flesh craves what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are opposed to each other, so that you do not do what you want. Galatians 5:17
The Prince of Peace is Lord of the Battle!
In Is. 28:29, God is named “Lord Sabbaoth.” Sabbaoth is translated Lord of Hosts. “Hosts” in the context of this verse refers to the angel armies.
- “This also comes from the LORD of hosts, Who has made His counsel wonderful and His wisdom great.”
“Sabbaoth” can also mean battle; war; or a leader of the army. God is the leader of the heavenly army. He is the Lord of the battle.
Rev. 19:11-21, shows us Jesus as “Lord Sabbaoth.” Jesus, the Prince of Peace, is depicted as the Lord of the Battle. He is described as a fierce warrior king leading the heavenly hosts in battle against the dark enemy to procure peace.
- And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” Revelations 19:11-21
The Cross and the Prince of Peace
A horrific battle scene of the Prince of Peace – the Lord of the Battle, shows Jesus being flogged close to the point of death; nailed to a tree, hanging in shame and agony before a jeering, uncaring world. In this seeming act of total defeat and shame, Jesus is procuring peace for us with God. The Prince of Peace is the crucified Messiah. In His death and resurrection this mighty warrior achieved eternal victory for us.
We were enemies of God, hanging out in the darkness, but Jesus procured peace with God for us. Through our faith in Jesus we can be “one” with him and the Father. This oneness is true peace.
- “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.” Romans 5:1-2
The blood from the battle scene at the crucifixion obtained peace for us with God through our faith in Jesus, our true Prince of Peace.
- ”For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, and through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.” Col. 1:19-20
What Child Is This?
This child is Immanuel, God in the flesh. He is the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace, Isaiah 9:6.
As you start this “new year,” think about Jesus, and ask God to open the eyes of your heart that you may see Him for who He is, value Him, and live a life that honors Him.