If there’s thing we can count on in life, it’s conflict. Whether we’re looking at international affairs, local neighborhoods, church communities, or family relations, it seems the prophet Jeremiah said it best: “We looked for peace, but no good came; for a time of healing, but behold, terror” (Jeremiah 8:15).
Isn’t it true that when one conflict is resolved, another one arises in its place? It’s as if there’s a thread of unrest that’s woven into fabric of the world—woven even into our very hearts and lives. For even when no great conflict threatens us, still an uneasy disquiet lurks within.
The reason for this, the Bible tells us, is that Adam and Eve’s sin in the garden of Eden sent out shockwaves of conflict through every sphere of the cosmos. It’s seen in Genesis 3, in Adam and Eve’s hiding from God and in the shame they felt toward one another in their nakedness. But the shockwaves turned violent in Genesis 4, when Cain rose up against His brother Abel and murdered him.
Sin lies at the root of every conflict.
But we’re called not to be people who contribute to the “disturbance in the force” by continuing to sin. Instead, we are to make peace.
What is peace? Is it a feeling, as the Eagles led us to believe in 1972 with their hit song, “Peaceful Easy Feeling”? As nice as peaceful feelings can be at times, you and I both know that an emotional high is not sustainable. We need something more. We need a peace with substance, strength, and staying power. In a word, we need shalom—the great peace that comes from the flowering of salvation.
This is what Jesus came to bring, and He did it in the most unlikely way—through death. Like a lamb led to the slaughter, the Prince of Peace came to earth to enter the conflict that we deserved. We should have been pierced for our transgressions. We should have been crushed for our iniquities. But He was instead. He took our place in the conflict and received the blows on our behalf that we might have peace with God (Isaiah 53:5). That the glorious truth of the gospel!
You will never make peace until the peace that Jesus made begins to make you. You’ll never experience the peace of being called a son of God until you trust in the peace made by the Son of God Himself. Truth is, Jesus is the only real peacemaker. But, in Him, we can be peacemakers, too.
Written By Nate Shurden