My readings combined this morning to form a wondrous panoramic view. From the Babe of Bethlehem foretold to the Ruler of the Nations promised, from the cross of Calvary to a war in heaven, I was a bit overwhelmed by the story in which, by God’s grace, I have been given a bit part to play.
Started in Micah and a promise that “It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and it shall be lifted up above the hills; and peoples shall flow to it” (Micah 4:1). A day in which the Lord’s reign is established on earth . . . His law going forth . . . His judgment prevailing . . . war exchanged for peace and prosperity (4:2-5). And then, His coming is foretold: “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for Me One who is to be Ruler in Israel, Whose origin is from of old, from ancient days” (5:2). This One of lowly beginnings would one day “stand and shepherd His flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD His God . . . and He shall be their peace” (5:4). And the promise echoes . . . He shall be their peace! Fast forward to my next reading . . .
“Behold the Man!” says Pilate. “Crucify Him,” respond the chief priests and religious leaders. “I find no guilt in Him,” contends Rome’s governor. “He has made Himself the Son of God,” is the Jews’ rebuttal. “Behold your King,” says Pilate. “We have no king but Caesar,” is their answer. And the Babe of Bethlehem is delivered over to be crucified (John 19:1-16). He bears the cross to the Place of the Skull and there they crucify Him. And Jesus, the Son, having born the wrath of God, the Father, for my sin and the sin of the world, and knowing that all things were now accomplished, cries out, “‘It is finished,’ and He bowed His head and gave up His spirit” (19:28-30). And He shall be their peace.
And then my next reading . . . Revelation 12. The showdown between a woman and a dragon . . . between her child and the devil. The woman is about to give birth, and the dragon waits before her that, when the baby is born, “he might devour it.” And Jesus’ time on earth is captured in one short verse: “She gave birth to a male Child, One who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her Child was caught up to God and to His throne” (12:5). His birth and His ascension explicitly mentioned . . . His death and His resurrection understood . . . His second coming foreshadowed.
And there is war in heaven. And the dragon and his fallen angels are defeated. And a loud voice declares:
“Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered Him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them!” (Revelation 12:10-12a ESV)
The accuser is defeated, for the Lamb has taken away the basis of accusation. Having atoned for their sin . . . having credited to their account His righteousness and holiness . . . pointing to the cross where the work was finished, He stands as Victor in heaven . . . the Authority of the Christ has come. And it echoes again . . . He shall be their peace.
And while this story has been written and established in eternity past . . . and while the outcome is yet to be fully realized for an eternity to follow . . . I get to play a bit part in the drama is it unfolds.
For He is my peace.
Not because of who I am . . . despite what I have done . . . but because of His glorious grace and through His steadfast love.
O come let us adore Him!