For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.
As we get further into this Christmas season, I invite you to take time to reflect on this passage of scripture that foretold the coming of Jesus hundreds of years before his arrival. Isaiah prophesied about this Savior who is to come, believing Him to be a Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.
The title that interests me as I read through these descriptions of Jesus is that of Prince of Peace. It interests me because what you’ll find is that when Jesus finally does step into humanity the Jewish people had long been awaiting this promised Savior. However, they believed that their Savior was to come as a fearful conqueror much more than as a prince of peace.
This was a people who had experienced exile, slavery, chastisement, and mockery for generations. They had been ruled by the Egyptians, the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Persians, the Greeks, and now to top it all off, they find themselves under the mighty thumb of the Roman Empire.
For those who are in captivity they’re not calling for peace. They’re calling for justice. They want a Savior who comes with a mighty fist to judge the world and set the captives free.
The beautiful thing about this story is that the Jesus we see in the Gospels is very much the promised Savior we read about in the Old Testament and in Isaiah’s prophecy. What the Jewish people didn’t understand at the time was that the enemy Jesus came to defeat wasn’t Rome. It was their sin…it was our sin.
What Jesus knew is that empires will rise and empires will fall, but without a Savior, our sin will always remain.
Peace is a major theme spoken of all throughout the Old and New Testament. The Hebrew word for peace is shalom. Shalom doesn’t refer to peace in the way that many of us understand it today. When we hear peace, we think of phrases like “peace treaty” or “time of peace,” where peace is primarily defined by an absence of conflict.
However, the word shalom doesn’t simply refer to an absence of conflict rather it speaks of this idea of wholeness and completion.
While many desire a life without conflict, Jesus wants to give us something much greater. A whole life. A complete life.
If God took away every harmful thing in our lives but sin still remained, then we would find ourselves in the same position as we are without Jesus—lost, broken, and hurting. But God in his infinite and abounding love for us…for you…sent His Son, Jesus to set you free from your sin, and give you a peace that transcends your circumstances. It is a peace that comes from the knowledge that the battle is won. Victory is in your hands, because of Christ.
When we receive that victory and that peace, it transforms us. We are no longer defined by our stress, anxieties, and worries. Rather, we are simply defined by our peace. We actually become peacemakers, sharing this peace that we have been given with the rest of the world.
So as difficulties arise this holiday season, as anxieties show up in your life, and tempers shorten, would you pause and consider the peace Christ offers you. And would you invite others into that peace as well.
This blog post was written by Christian Alvarez.