Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Rom 5:1 ESV)
Our Lord Jesus was prophesied by Isaiah to be the Prince of Peace, a most remarkable title. Princes are unlike most of us in that they are royalty. They come from noble blood and they are given rulership over a particular state or peoples. Whether this is the prince of Wales, the prince of Tyre, or the prince of the sons of Judah, the limits and boundaries of their rule are well defined. But Jesus Christ is a far superior prince in that he isn’t just a ruler over a group of people, but he is a ruler over a quality of existence—peace! What is staggering about this statement is that it is a declaration regarding the guaranteed atmosphere of his kingdom. How powerful and magnificent must Jesus be to be declared as a ruler whose very reign will be characterized by peace? How many rulers have tried hard to keep the peace in their kingdoms but ultimately failed? Yet, Jesus’ kingdom is prophesied to be a kingdom of absolute, eternal peace for his subjects.
Furthermore, the peace that Jesus brings isn’t just simply the end of wars and the cessation of conflict in our homes, but peace between God and man. In our natural state, we are sinners before an Almighty God who are deserving of his wrath. The only thing we accomplish in our brief lives, apart from grace, is to make war with God everyday. But Jesus Christ came into the world, so that we who believe in him, might by justified before God and know ultimate peace.
And although the gift of reconciliation with God was given to us freely, it was not freely acquired. It was purchased, not with gold and silver, but with the precious blood of a spotless Lamb. The Christ who came into the world as a humble baby only accomplished the work of reconciliation by living out his days with unwavering holiness and dying for our sins on the cross. We are God’s people because of what Jesus has accomplished and we must never forget that we were bought with a price (1 Cor 6:19).
Christmas cannot truly be celebrated unless we first understand that naturally, we are wicked, enemies of God. Only then will we crave and passionately rejoice at the incredible reconciliation that God has given us through Christ. Christmas can only be Good News, if we first understand that it begins with bad news. Victory means nothing if there is no war. And the gift of peace is meaningless, if there is no strife. And the Good News of Christmas is not just that we have received a gift, but that we have received a gift of infinite, inestimable, and unsurpassed value—eternal peace with God. And all of this comes through Jesus Christ who is our Prince of Peace. So, let us give thanks this Christmas to the Prince of Peace who came into the world to pay the price of peace, so that we might have eternal peace with God.