Prince of Peace came to bring salvation, peace

In this day and time, peace is a precious commodity and for many people it’s a rare one. Everyday our eyes, ears and hearts are bombarded with headlines of doom and gloom; anything but peace. This is one of the reasons that Jesus the Prince of Peace came to this world to bring salvation to all and included in salvation is peace.

As I was thinking on what to share with you, I kept coming back to the time and place where Jesus, the Prince of Peace, was born. In Luke 2:7, Scripture says, “Mary … gave birth to her first child, a son; she wrapped him snuggly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the village inn.”

In the early 1950s, I cut my teeth on children’s shows that were broadcast from a local station. One show was hosted by a cowboy wearing a mask like the Lone Ranger’s It was announced that the cowboy host would unmask and reveal himself the next week. What did he really look like? Who was he in real life?

When the moment finally came, the cowboy reached behind his head and untied his mask. But to our surprise, just as the mask came off, he turned his back to the camera. We were so disappointed at not being able to see who he was.

On Christmas evening, God took off his mask. He revealed himself to us and allowed us to see him and he really is. In the Old Testament, we see Jesus as types and foreshadowing. But in the New Testament, he is the “express image” of God’s person.

As we look at the life of Jesus, surely the cross is the central point. But the hinge of history is one the door of a Bethlehem stable. This is the moment in time when God, through his son, entered this world. The question I present to you today is this. Has he entered your world?

Not in a religious way. Not be saying a creed or reciting something but as a real person you count on, a friend you talk to, a comforter. It’s when you have this need or longing for something more and you can’t seem to fill that lonely, empty spot. You need a savior. Ask God to forgive you for all your wrongs. Confess and declare that Jesus died for you and that you receive him into yourself as lord and savior. Ask him into your world. Surrender your wants and needs, desires and he’ll come live in you and work through you.

The Lord of Lords and king of kings — God in the flesh — was born in one of the most unexpected places. He wasn’t born in a palace or a beautiful home. No. He was born in a smelly stable where animals were kept and his bed — the manager — was a feeding trough.

I believe these circumstances say a lot about the character of Christ. First of all, it says that no person is too “lowly” or too “dirty” with sin for Jesus to come to. No matter how dark a person’s past or how cold and unfeeling his heart is, Jesus will come into his heart, forgiving and cleansing him of all sin. It also tells us that no matter how impossible our situation may be and no matter how unlikely we think it is for Jesus to show up, he will come to us and help if we make room for him in our world.

I want to encourage you not to limit God by your expectations or thinking. With God all things are possible. Make room for Jesus. They didn’t make room for him at the inn. Will you make for him in your heart? He will come. Among all the presents you receive this Christmas season, may you have the greatest of all — the presence of God living inside you. Take time to enjoy the best gift every given — the Prince of Peace.

(Stead is pastor of Christ Healing Center of Wintersville)