Word from Scotland: If you are searching for peace, approach the Prince of Peace
Once somebody sets himself against Jesus, there is no limit as to how far an individual will go, and if you go against Jesus, you will probably find that you are against the friends and disciples of Jesus too.
We must never forget or ignore or overlook the fact that we are living in a fallen sinful world, and that there is an enemy who will do he can to upset and challenge and attack Christ and those who belong to Jesus Christ. To remember that can be most comforting and encouraging when we wonder why various things around us appear to arise and explode and hurt and wound.
Think of Paul before he met the risen Lord Jesus Christ. Saul of Tarsus was out to wipe out this whole move of God. He is the perfect example of this type of reaction. But, God had other plans for him – for which we give thanks.
We remain in John Chapter 12. A million people have gathered in Jerusalem for the Passover and Jesus faces and confronts the situation. The news went around that Jesus is coming – Jesus is coming – and a crowd goes to meet Jesus with branches of Palm Trees and with the words of Psalm 118. ‘Hosanna’ means ‘save us now’.
Jesus comes riding on a young donkey and Jesus Christ is fulfilling the prophecy of Zechariah Chapter 9 verse 9. It is important that prophecy is fulfilled. It is important that what has been prophesied actually happens. These people had their hopes in one person, but it was for the wrong reason. Jesus had something to say on this occasion that the people did not want to hear.
Zechariah tells us that when the King comes riding on an ass, that will be the Messiah, the Saviour. He will be just and righteous. He will look lowly and humble. When you see the King riding on a donkey, Rejoice and shout and know who he is.
Your king is coming to save you from you sins and your sicknesses.
This was the mark of a great and kingly man. This was to be the sign of God’s peace and humility and love. He will proclaim peace to the nations.
Jesus was teaching the people a profound lesson, but on this occasion they only looked at who was sitting on the donkey – the miracle worker – the water into wine man – and they missed the significance of the donkey. We are called to have our eyes and our ears open and to be aware of all that God is saying and doing.
They were looking to the man to set them free from Rome, and Jesus Christ had not come to set people free from people. Jesus had come to set people free from sin. So often, people want to be set free from everything except their sin and sins.
Peace does not come from being set free from people. Peace comes when Jesus Christ sets you free from sin. People will do almost anything in search of peace. They will move house – they will change jobs – they might even run to another church! Some will do anything to get free from certain situations in their search for what they call peace, but it is only when we come to the foot of Calvary’s Cross and ask Jesus Christ to wash us and cleanse us and forgive us – it is only then that real peace begins to flow.
If you are seeking peace and searching for peace, then approach the Prince of Peace, who is Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
There is a very comforting and reassuring word in verse 16. Nobody understood this until after the Resurrection. It is only after Calvary – it was only after Jesus shed His Precious Blood for us on the cross – it was only after Jesus Christ rose from the dead that his chosen disciples received peace and he spoke peace to them that resurrection evening. Even John did not understand at the time.
Sometimes we have to be very patient and gentle and non-judgmental – even when dealing with true disciples of Jesus – and especially when they are so blind and unresponsive to something that might seem so obvious to us.
Bad selfish corrupt leadership can cause chaos and havoc, but even good leadership has its dilemmas at times. In our Christian lives, there can be many questions, as well as many certainties.
But now for us today in 2012, Christ has been to the Cross. The blood has been shed. Jesus is risen, and so there is no need to wait and there need be no delay. He appears to his men in that upper room.
That same risen living Jesus offers peace and power and life and love today, and we need to be reminded constantly of that as we serve and minister.
Back in John Chapter 12, there were now crowds flocking after Jesus. The people are curious and interested. There is a lot of enthusiasm and zeal, but it did not last.
There are also some very angry Pharisees leading the people, and they are becoming more and more enraged.
There is a lot of emotion around and the warning is – do not allow the wrong emotions to control you, or you may find yourself going against Jesus and his disciples. What is needed is simple trust and faith in Christ.