- - Sunday, March 24, 2024

If you were asked to describe our world in one word, would you choose the word “peaceful”? I’m guessing there are a lot of other words that come to mind before peaceful. Your list may include words like chaotic, broken, unstable, frightening, or disintegrating.

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As a nation, we’ve lost confidence in our government, medical institutions, and scientific exploration. And many have lost confidence in religion, with church attendance at an all-time low.

Right now, the world is anything but peaceful.

But we all desire and need peace. So many people look for peace in superficial things, including drugs, alcohol, entertainment, and money. And yet, they still feel empty.

Truthfully, we’ve been looking for peace in all the wrong places and the world cannot offer true, lasting peace. We need a peace that isn’t of this world.

Other-worldly peace is just what Jesus offers us. On Palm Sunday, a week before He was to go to the cross, suffer and die, Jesus took His disciples aside and gave them an amazing promise, saying, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.”

This is a remarkable promise.

Think about what Jesus was going through when He made this promise. He had spent the last three years of His life hounded by the haters and suffocated by persecutors and oppressors. There was constant pressure on Jesus’ life.

Despite all this, Jesus had peace. It is this peace that He invited His disciples – and by extension us – to share in.

Today, Christ offers the world three kinds of peace:

1. Peace with God

Christ offers peace with God. In Romans 5:1-10, Paul tells us that all human beings begin as enemies with God and that it is only through faith in Christ that we can have peace with God. In fact, it was Jesus’ death and Resurrection that made this peace possible.

Jesus knew this was the case. He knew His death was the only way to reconcile a sinful people with a righteous God. This is what Christ came to do and it is why, hanging on the cross a week after giving His disciples His peace, He could proclaim, “It is finished!” The war is over. Peace between God and humanity is now possible.

2. The peace of God

Christ also offers his followers the peace of God. Earlier in John 14, Jesus gives an interesting instruction to His disciples: “Do not let your hearts be troubled.” This is a daunting command and I imagine all the disciples wanted to do was ask, “How?”

We turn to Isaiah 26:3 for the answer: “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” Jesus is saying that our minds are crucial to experiencing God’s peace. With our minds fixed on Him, we can be at peace in this chaotic and anxious world.

Paul picks up this theme in Philippians 4:8-9. He tells the Church, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

The result? “The God of peace will be with you.”

3. The peace God will bring when Christ returns

Finally, we’re offered the peace God will bring when Christ comes back to dwell among us.

It’s no coincidence that one of Jesus’ titles is “Prince of Peace.” We are promised that the world won’t have true, lasting peace until Christ comes again. But when he does, Isaiah 2:4 tells us strange things will happen: “The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.”

What is Isaiah saying?

He is saying there will be peace that our minds can’t yet even fathom. Deep, lasting, transcendent peace. A peace this world can’t explain or recreate.

But it’s a peace that makes perfect sense if you know Jesus.

At the very end of John 16, the very end of Palm Sunday, Jesus gives His disciples a powerful promise. Today, over 2,000 years later, Jesus extends to us the same transcendent promise of peace saying, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart. I have overcome the world.”

Dr. Jack Graham is the Senior Pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church, one of the largest and fastest-growing churches in America. He is the author of the acclaimed Unseen, and his PowerPoint Ministries broadcasts are available in 92 countries and are heard daily in more than 740 cities.

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