Summary: There will be no peace there until the Prince of Peace comes in person and establishes that peace! Link inc. to formatted text, audio, PowerPoint.
The Greatest Peace Mission
In September of 1938 the British Prime Minister Chamberlain returned from conferences in Nazi Germany. He was certain that he had stopped Adolf Hitler. He said, "Peace in our time, peace with honor." A year later, Hitler invaded Poland and on 9/3/39, Great Britain declared war on Germany. Chamberlain's peace mission had failed.
From 1500 B.C. to A.D. 850 there were no less than 7,500 peace treaties agreed upon by various nations, and most of them were regarded as 'eternal covenants.' Each brought hope of lasting peace, but not one of them made it for long.
Look at Israel and her enemies to this day, and throughout history. There will be no peace there until the Prince of Peace comes in person and establishes that peace!
ill.--Bring it forward to the USA. [sarcasm] Isn't it grand that the Revolutionary War ended and all the Brits are fond of us now? Aren't you glad the Civil War came to a final resolution and there is no racial prejudice anymore? Good thing WWI was the war to end all wars, right? And about that line between North and South Korea...that's where you want to build your retirement home! Because the treaties have been signed!
The only peace mission that will work is the one spoken of in our passage. It was signed by God and sealed by the blood of Jesus.
v. 14 First 5 words
v. 15 last 3 words
v. 17 first 5 words
The wall was torn down between Jew and Gentile and peace is made between mankind and God Almighty.
v. 12 Mankind is Christ-less, homeless, hopeless, and Godless.
A Christless life is like a song with no one to sing it, a bell with no one to ring it. A sky with no sun to shine in it. A puzzle with a key piece gone from it. A building with no cornerstone. What a tragedy to be without Christ!
No Christ, no peace / joy / love / hope / heaven!
God has promised us a home...though we've not yet seen it...we are aliens in a strange land, but ambassadors for another land. "I'm kinda homesick for a country..." "This world is not my home, I'm just a passin' thru!"
For the Christian, we look forward to endless hope. For the lost awaits a hopeless end...which has no end!
This doesn't mean they didn't worship gods. Look at human history, from the Greeks and all their mythological gods to the Romans, the Far East, and every pagan nation on the planet worshiping all forms of creation, to today's mystics and Indian beliefs in millions of gods in all shapes and sizes. Then there's America. What do we worship? Ourselves it seems!
Paul saw all the statues and temples in Athens, and noticed one statue labeled, "To the Unknown God." [just in case they missed one.] Paul said, "Aha! That's the one I'm preaching to you today! His name is Jesus!"
There was a separation, but God now brings a reconciliation...
ill.--a man's wife has left him, and he wants her to return to him and be reconciled. This is a picture of mankind and his maker. We are the prodigal and He is the Father.
ill.--Warren Wiersbe tells of a struggling couple he counseled with. They had both sinned against each other and the man was a redneck and blurted out, "We need a re-cancellation!" [He meant reconciliation, but in a sense he was right, because until their sins against one another were cancelled out and erased, there could be no healing.]
And there can be no peace treaty between man and his Maker until our sins are cancelled out...which is what Jesus came to do!
1. The Source of our Reconciliation.
v. 13 The Blood!
ill.--a father and son were at odds for years, and neither would talk to the other or apologize. The mother tried all she could to bring them together to no avail. It was on her deathbed that the circumstances even brought the two men into the same room. They stood on either side of her bed and watched as her breathing receded away...soon she would be gone. And just before she drew her last breath, she took each of their hands and brought them together on her chest, which never again rose with air. They both began weeping and neither would remove his hand. They hugged, apologized, and for the first time in many years, were reconciled.
When Jesus hung on that cross, the only thing separating man from God was sin, and when God poured out His wrath on that sin, laid that day on His Son, Jesus was in effect taking the hand of sinful man and placing it in the hand of the Holy God, and rested both there on His person and died.