During this Christmas season I’ve been reading through the story of the birth of the Messiah, and my attention was turned to the blessing of the angels who came to the shepherds in the fields outside Bethlehem. If it wasn’t out of the ordinary enough to have an angel appearing from heaven, he goes on to bring them this blessing:
“Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2:14)
Peace was not what these shepherds were used to. They were living in a land where it was a fight for survival; where injustice was never far off. Roman rule was a combination of force and cruelty, and submission was the only path of existence. But God did not come to earth with the priority of bringing justice. He came to give us peace! God had to first bring ‘Peace’ into our broken world because if He came with ‘justice’ first, it would leave us all under His righteous judgement.
“Surely He has borne our griefs, And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” (Isa. 53:4-6)
I’m so thankful that He came first to heal that which couldn’t be cured and then through that healing He is able to adopt me into a family I never deserved to be a part of.
Merry Christmas to all of you, and blessings of His Peace from Jerusalem.
-Daniel Carlson/Deputy Director/CBN Israel