Peace With God
“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:1). A holy God cannot accept sin. It results in our death and separation from him. “In the atoning death of Christ was exhibited not only the holy wrath of God against sin, but quite as much the love of God toward sinful men. The gracious divine purpose realized in the atonement was entwined with the creation of human beings. Redemption was in the thought and plan of the Creator so that humanity falling fell into the arms of divine mercy. (Unger’s Bible Dictionary, p. 107).
Colossians 1:19-23 (NIV)
For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel.
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. . . . God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! . . For just as through the disobedience of the one man, Adam, the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man, Jesus, the many will be made righteous.
We carefully evade anyone we have wronged because we know that it will be uncomfortable to face them. We practice excuses, look for someone else to blame, or avoid going to places where you know they may be encountered. Taken to the extreme, we may become physically ill or take drastic steps such as quitting attending the same church or school or moving away to another community. The longer we put it off, the more difficult it becomes to be reconciled, and after a while, we try to forget about it entirely and fool ourselves into believing that “it’s over.” But like a cancer that spreads until it’s dealt with, our sins invade our souls and separate us, not only from our neighbor, but also from God.
As parents, friends, or authority figures, we may try to engineer reconciliation for the good of the family or organization; healing is at the core of the work. Yet, even a truth and reconciliation exercise cannot make it right. It may even amplify the injustice, furthering the hurt to the victim and the guilt to the perpetrator. It’s a cycle that has repeated itself since Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden.
Imagine the relief to know that you are truly forgiven. Your enemy becomes your friend, and the debt is paid. This is the good news of the gospel. “He who knew no sin became sin for us in order that the just requirements of the law might be met.” (Col 1:19). The judge pronounced the sentence of death; then he stepped down and accepted the punishment. He became our peace.
“Lord, we are sinners deserving of wrath and death. There was no way out for us, but from the beginning, you had a plan to bring us home. By becoming a man, you accepted our sin and inevitable death. But because you were sinless, death had no power over you, and we witnessed your resurrection. Through Christ, we have died to sin and been born again to eternal life. No more at war with God, we embrace your peace.” Amen