Lent Devotion for April 10
"Jesus’ Sacrifice Brings Peace"
Reader: "Hear the words and enter into this final week.”
Response: "Thanks be to God for his great love.”
SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 53:5b
But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins.
SCRIPTURE: Colossians 1:19-20
19 For God in all his fullness
was pleased to live in Christ,
20 and through him God reconciled
everything to himself.
He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth
by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.
Reader: “The word of the Lord."
Response: “Thanks be to God.”
When there is a conflict of any size, what are the elements that bring peace? At some point, those involved must realize and acknowledge there is strife, separation. In finding peace with God, people must realize they are at odds with God. Frankly, I think that is one of the great challenges of our day. Many people around us do not realize that they are at odds with God. There is no peace with God. As a culture, we have not yet figured out the connection between the strife in our world and the rejection of God. In Christ’s death, He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth. The peace you and I have was purchased with Jesus’ blood. I’m not sure we always grasp the nature of God’s peace. This is shalom peace. Let’s flesh that out a bit. You have heard it defined as “completeness, or wholeness.” It can refer to physical conditions: my body is at peace, I’m healthy, well, feel good, I’m at rest, I’m happy. It can refer to moral value: I am at peace with this decision; it is right. The struggle is over. It is what I should do. It’s the way I should think. It can also have a more cosmic sense: I’m at peace with the world. Of course, it relates to God as one of His attributes. I’m at peace with God. Peace comes to us as a divine grace given by our Creator. Shalom also has to do with familial and social relationships. Have you ever had a moment in your life when absolutely everything was perfect? Were you at complete peace at every point? God’s plan and offer to all is the peace he gives. The peace for everything in heaven and on earth was purchased by the blood of Christ as it says above. Jesus further defined shalom as He talked with His disciples at His last supper on earth. John writes Jesus’ words: “I am leaving you with a gift-peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. Be careful you are not chasing other pursuits hoping to grasp that elusive peace, it’s found only in the Prince of Peace.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.