Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, and good will toward men.
A couple of Japanese soldiers were found on one of the South Pacific islands years after the end of World War II. Due to temporary deafness from bomb explosions, they had missed the announcement via airplane and were unaware of the war’s end. Many years later, they were still hiding in the jungles, fighting the war. How sad! However, many Christians still think and believe that the war is on between God and the people of the earth. That’s even sadder!
The angels of God proclaimed peace on that great day, announcing the birth of Jesus, but this peace would not be among people. This peace that the angels were praising God about was that the war between God and people was over. There will be total peace on this earth when Jesus returns to restore it back the way God has planned in the beginning.
Before the birth of Christ, God dealt with mankind through the Law of Moses. The Law of Moses was a system of rules and regulations with appropriate punishments for those that did not walk in perfect obedience to them. By the Law was the knowledge of sin, and the Law proved that nobody was innocent, but all were guilty. No person under the law could brag about being righteous or good, because under the law the Scripture proclaims that there is none righteous, no, not one.
The Law was not meant to be lived under. It was to show us that we needed a Redeemer to bring us to God. This is what Jesus did for us. He brought peace between God and man. He brought peace between God and you through His death. The Law always said that you and I are guilty, but His death says we are forgiven. The people under the Law did not have peace with God; they saw the wrath of God. Today we are not fighting a war, but the war is over. It is done, and Jesus won so we can have peace with God and goodwill, which is abundant life.
Good will is the blessing that came through the love of Jesus. The Law of Moses pointed out our sins, and the Love of Jesus points out that our sins are forgiven. This is called grace! Grace means the debt is paid, the war is over, and the Father’s love has been extended to you. There was no peace because of sin, but now there is peace between you and God because of the Cross.
Jesus ushered in a new way for God to deal with people. We can now be totally free of all sin, not based on perfect obedience, but because of our faith in Jesus Christ. The war is long over between God and us. We do not need to think that God is mad at us, because He took His anger out in the death on the Cross. There is now a peace treaty that is signed by the Blood of Jesus. This Blood is the seal of our redemption, and it says we are more than forgiven sinners. It says we are new creations in Christ Jesus. This means that we are accepted forever based on the perfect obedience of Jesus Christ.
Today, don’t be like those people caught on the island, fighting to be right through your right living according to the Law, but receive your right standing with God based on the power of the Cross. Enjoy Christmas and let it remind you that you are forgiven and the war is over!