No one can afford the price of war. One website reports 64 nations are currently involved in armed conflicts. When and how will they end? We want peace, but not at the expense of justice.
Jesus was born during a time of “peace,” but it came at the cost of heavy-handed oppression. The Pax Romana (“Roman Peace”) existed only because Rome squashed all dissent.
Seven centuries before that time of relative peace, hostile armies prepared to invade Jerusalem. From the shadow of war, God made a remarkable pronouncement. “On those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned,” the prophet declared (Isa. 9:2). “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given . . . . Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end” (vv. 6-7). Matthew tells us that Isaiah’s prophecy found fulfillment in the Christ-child (Matt. 1:22-23; see also Isa. 7:14).
We adore the tiny baby in the manger scene. Yet that helpless babe is also the Lord Almighty, “the Lord of Heaven’s Armies” (Isa. 13:13 nlt). He will one day “reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness” (9:7). Such a regime will be no oppressive Pax Romana. It will be the reign of the Prince of Peace.
Father, we can never sufficiently thank You that Your Son came to bring us peace with You through His death and resurrection. Thank You that He will rule in both peace and righteousness.
The Lamb of God is also the Lion of Judah.
The encouraging words of the prophet Isaiah about a time of peace are all contingent on one specific event. Isaiah 9:1-5 describes a time not simply of rest from war and conflict but a time when the apparel of battle—clothes stained with blood—will be burned (v. 5). The land will be blessed and at peace because of the birth of the Child described in verses 6-7. Jesus brings real and lasting peace both to our world and to our hearts and minds.