On Sunday we saw that the peace the world tries to hold onto is very different from what our God offers.
What is your least favorite Christmas song? This is a fun game. I – personally – like Christmas tunes. Once in a while I’ll bust them out in July. One of the themes in this music is peace. Let me introduce you to these two. The man on the right is John Lennon with his wife Yoko. His song War is Over, is a good one as music goes. Catchy tune… the song would imply that if we just want it bad enough, then peace could be ours. In fact if you look closely at the bottom of the poster – war is over, if you want it. That is the refrain at the end of his Christmas song.
There are many who read our text from Isaiah 2 and get to the same place!
4 He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. Across the street from the United Nations building in New York inside the United Nations plaza a stone wall quotes these words from Isaiah. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. The world longs for the peace found on the mountain of God like a child staring into the toy store window. The peace Isaiah saw isn’t political or peace between nations once at war. Jesus reminds us that in these last days, Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. War is the sad fact of a sinful world. No amount of “wanting it” will make it happen.
The mountain of the Lord’s temple here in Isaiah 2 doesn’t make any sense until you flip a few pages and go deeper into Isaiah’s prophecy. It is there that you find the suffering servant, the Messiah. This is Jesus. In Isaiah 53 you find Isaiah at the foot of the cross when he wrote.
Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.
How can any punishment carried out against Jesus bring us peace? That’s because the first war, the first hostility, is the one between you and God. That’s where the first conflict happens, and so it makes sense spiritually – that’s where the first peace needs to be found. Jesus paid for all of your sin, your transgression so that you might be at peace with God. Jesus gets your sin – you get his peace. That was the Great Exchange.
Now listen to the angels from Luke2. Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. (KJV) There is peace between God and man. Good will from God to man.
Want to hear more? Watch this Sunday’s message taken from Isaiah 2 – Christmas in Real Life – Peace.
Advent Wreath Instructions
Anything that can hold candles can work as an advent wreath. For the one pictured below, I took some scrap of 2×4 and drilled a few holes in the top. The color of the candles doesn’t really matter. That pine twig is either stapled or zip tied to the block. What’s important is the time you spend as a family with your God. HERE are family devotions written by our church body for your to use.
To learn more about this Advent sermon series you can find the event page HERE.
Series: Christmas in Real Life
Speaker(s): Fred Guldberg