The dawning of the onus of peace began with one bite of the forbidden fruit. And the quest for peace has not ceased this side of Eden’s Garden.
Why, the ancients with wealth and position adopted the practice known as marriage-of-state, a union between two members of different nation-states to build an alliance and encourage peace. The main purpose for these arranged marriages was to eliminate enmity. In fact, many diplomatic marriages included a peace treaty in the contract. But other motives prompted the desire for these alliances. They were often forged from fear, greed for power or property, or to protect an inheritance.
One thing can certainly be said: It made marriage more transactional . . . and less romantic.
Yes, the onus for peace began with the taking of the forbidden fruit. But the quest for true peace found its Founthead with the long-awaited arrival of the Prince of Peace. For upon His birth, the hosts of heaven pronounced the peace He brings:
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (Luke 2:13-14)
The covenant God made to a delivered people at Mt. Sinai, uniting Himself to them to be their God and Husband (Isaiah 54:5), was shattered by adulterous rebellion against Him. But God, ever faithful to His Word, made a way to restore peace between creature and Creator.
And that Way is Jesus.
Jesus makes peace between God and man (Romans 5:1, Colossians 1:19-20).
Furthermore, He has brought peace to all mankind by uniting them in Him. For all are one in Christ (Ephesians 2:14-15).
What is this peace?
Holman’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary says this: “God’s covenant of peace with His people involves the assurance of an enduring relationship with the One who is our peace (Isaiah 9:6, Micah 5:5) and a pledge to protect their welfare and abundantly bless them by His divine grace, wisdom, and power.”
The peace of the Christ is more marital than political, more relational than physical or contractual. It is “more than the absence of hostility, and it is more than a psychological state” (Holman’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary).
There is a real and lasting peace that comes in knowing that Jesus has made me right with God. But it reaches beyond me. It’s more than the peace within me or the peace made between God and me. It’s a peace that involves more than He and I for it is also Groom to Bride. And within the Bride, among her members.
The question can’t stop with “Am I right with God?” but must include, “Am I right with my brother-in-Christ?”
The Bride of Christ, the assembly joined to the Son of God, is to walk with the Lord in peace and righteousness. However, we cannot rightly claim “peace, peace” where there is no peace. It cannot be denied that all is not peaceful within the Bride. She does not reflect within her the peace that is between the Groom and His Father, nor between Father and Bride. There is, most tragically and unfortunately, turmoil, dissension, and strife within her. However, she is not beyond hope . . . change.
But she does bear the wounds of sin.
Sin is the source of all strife that has stolen peace from us. Because of sin we’ve all become enemies with God. But now, in Christ, we are friends. Because the blood of Jesus reconciles us to God. And the relationship of peace that sin destroyed has been restored by Jesus, the Prince of Peace.
Of all the ways God blesses His people, this is by far one of the greatest—that they have peace with Him and all those in Christ.
God does not force an arranged marriage to His Son. It is a betrothal of choice—across every nation—forging a kingdom where the Groom reigns as Prince of Peace and King of kings.