“15 Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, 16 for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see—such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. 17 He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together. 18 Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body. He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead. So he is first in everything.” 19 For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, 20 and through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.”
If you Google the word peace you will get over 800,000,000 results relating to peace. As you browse through them you will discover articles ranging from the Peace Corps and the Nobel peace prize, to peace protests. These pages describe many different paths to peace and an amazing assortment of formulas for finding it. Most are simplistic and superficial, and even those that provide a so called “proven pathway” to peace are steeped in human effort. Instead of providing lasting results at best they provide a temporary and tenuous solution, Partly because they fail to address the real cause, sin and they miss the real solution, the Savior Jesus Christ. Jeremiah 6:14 describes these so called solutions all too well: “They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace.” Fortunately you do not need to spend the rest of your life scrolling through page after page, searching the internet for a solution because there is scripture. Throughout the bible God has graciously and repeatedly revealed the only path to genuine, lasting peace. Here in Colossians we see God clearly proclaiming His path to peace. It is here that we see God’s:
- Priority and passion for peace.
When you stop to consider who God sent to restore peace to our battered and broken world you quickly discover the priority that He places on peace. God did not send an angel to bring peace, or an army to suppress the conflict and police peace. He did not dispatch a delegation of gifted men to delineate peace. No rather than send us His second best, God sent his only Son, His greatest gift. As you take the time to read through Christ credentials listed here in Colossians 1:15-18: “Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, 16 for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see—such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. 17 He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together. 18 Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body. He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead. So he is first in everything.” it is clear that God sent His best, His only Son to come and sacrifice His life for us. This was no spontaneous knee jerk reaction, 1 Peter 1:20 says that God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, God’s priority for peace is emphasized by the fact that he planned for our reconciliation. Not only has God made peace His highest priority but He has also called us to do the same. He expects us to take the time and expend the effort needed to seek peace in our relationships with others, not just treat it with a token effort. God does not view broken relationships as insignificant matters that can be ignored. We are taught in His Word never to delay when peace is fractured but to face them in love. The priority for peace is so high that He doesn’t just call us to seek reconciliation with others He commands it, even before we seek to worship with God himself, Matthew 5:23-24: “So if you are presenting a sacrifice[a] at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, 24 leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.” Are you making every reasonable effort to seek peace and reconcile with those around you? Where do you placed peace on your list of priorities? Not only do we see God’s priority and passion for peace but we also see
- The place of peace
Real peace is found only at the Cross of Calvary. The world may offer many formulas for peace but as Acts 4:12 proclaims: “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” It is at the cross alone that the gospel of peace is discovered. Today we spend millions of hours and billions of dollars in bookstores, courtrooms and counseling offices searching for ways to resolve conflict and regain some measure of peace. But how much of our time and treasure do we wasted on worthless places looking for peace? In our pursuit for peace why do we constantly pass over the only place where real peace presides, the cross of Calvary? Colossians 1:20 reminds us that reconciliation is a result of Christ shedding His blood to buy us back from bondage. He purchased our peace at the cross, God’s gift of grace is found nowhere else. Have you knelt at the foot of the cross before Christ, have you admitted your sin before the sinless Savior? Do you believe in the blood of Jesus that has the power to purify you from sin? Do you believe that on the cross Christ conquered sin and defeated death? Have you confessed Christ as your only Savior from sin? It is at the cross that that we discover the grace of God and take hold of His gift that gives us the power to make peace with others. Because Jesus has freed us from the penalty of sin we can break free from those sinful attitudes and the habits we harbor that foster conflict and pollute peace. Are you pursuing God’s peace, are you making it your priority and passion? What places are you look to for peace? Is it at the cross or are you still caught in the confusion and chaos of what the world offers? Are you stuck sifting through the millions of supposed solutions or are you secure because you have found the Savior at the cross of Calvary?