Easter 6
May 20, 2001
John 14:23-29
"The Peace of Jesus"

+++

INTRODUCTION:  Last week "love"… this week - "peace" - the peace of Christ.  Like love, peace is a word that can be misunderstood, misused, and misapplied. This morning, let's see if we can get some sort of handle on a word called "peace".

I.                   The peace of Christ is not as the world gives it.

A.     In the collect for peace we pray that we might receive that peace, which the world the world "simply can not give…" How is it that the world's system of peace is different from that peace that only Jesus can give?

The world's definition of peace is different by definition. The world is uncompromising, with respect to peace. According to the world's standard peace is uncompromising - there are winners and there are losers and to the victors go the spoils - with the power to determine the conditions and the terms of peace.

B.  Consequently, the world's  definition of peace comes with a price tag involved. Win at all costs. Win no matter what! That’s where the world’s value system breaks down. When you will no matter what the cost, no matter what the consequences then others can be open to all sorts of hurts and pains; unfortunately peace, or any lasting peace is never achieved. 

II.                Jesus gives real and everlasting peace.

A.     Peace because the "evil three" are now history! In this season of Easter we affirm that our archenemies; the devil, death and sin have all been defeated. They no longer can take hold of us. They have no more power.

B.      The Lord said to Cain; “Sin is crouching at the door, its desire is for you and you must master it” (Genesis 4:7) Cain’s problem was that he could not master sin. Someone stronger, and more powerful then his inclination to sin had to master him.  Jesus has become that One who not only has “mastered sin” for us but He has taken away it’s sting and power.

C.     Peace is now ours because God is "at peace".  God is at peace because sin has been atoned for. “There is now therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” St. Paul reminds us.  Sin no longer has its punch or power. Death can no longer destroy us. The Devil’s claws have been removed. He can no longer destroy us. He has no more mastery over us.

III.             Although absent, Jesus is still present to give us His lasting peace.

A.     In His Word; spoken, heard, read. Forgiveness comes to us every single time the word of Christ, namely the Gospel, comes to us in its healing effect for cleansing and life. Stay connected to God’s most holy Word. Not only will it give you peace, it will give you the assurance that God’s purpose and providence for your life will be fulfilled.

B.     In the Sacraments; which are tokens of God's promises. Where do we find forgiveness? At Calvary? No! - That’s the place where salvation was worked out. Forgiveness, life, peace is offered in Baptism, in the Supper, in the words that we hear Sunday after Sunday "in Jesus Christ you are forgiven”!

CONCLUSION: Jesus said: “Peace I leave thee, My peace I give thee. not as the world gives it…” Yes, Jesus does it better then the world. He gives us peace that lasts. Today may you know that the peace of God, which surpasses all human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus until life everlasting! Amen, yes, and amen!

+ Soli Deo Gloria +