God has been showing me a lot about peace this year. What has stuck out to me most is that peace is not a byproduct of Jesus but rather IS Jesus. The more we seek and abide in him, the more peace we feel because his Holy Spirit dwells in us. Let me provide an analogy:
Many beekeepers prefer using a veil when inspecting their hives. Thousands of bees literally around us. Most of the time they are kind, but they are created to defend their hive. The sting is powerful. Last April, on Easter, I didn’t wear my veil and as I quickly moved something in the bee yard, a guard bee stung me in the temple. The sting to my face really brought new meaning to “oh death where is your sting”. It took three days for the swelling to subside. It was painful and embarrassing. I should have worn my veil.
Thousands of years before, in the temple that God had Moses and the people build, there was a veil that separated them. Leviticus 16:2 says, “and the Lord said to Moses, ‘Tell Aaron your brother not to come at any time into the Holy Place inside the veil, before the mercy seat that is on the ark, so that he may not die. For I will appear in the cloud over the mercy seat.” God was so mighty that he was training the people to respect the ways of God. If they entered the temple, traveled through, and then tried to pass the veil, the curtain before the altar where God was, they’d die.
It isn’t that God wanted people to die. Its that God wanted the people to learn, obey, and trust in the significance of who He is and what our sin had done to separate us from God. God cannot be with sin and yet he still longed for us to be with him.
The plan was already in place. God was sending Jesus. Jesus, our peace, is like this veil. The veil in the temple was a shadow of what was to come. When Jesus died on the cross for our sins he literally removed the barrier between God and us, taking the place of the veil.
The literal veil of the temple, miles from where Jesus died, tore from top to bottom the moment Jesus died on the cross. It was earthshaking and absolutely shocking to those who witnessed this – the separation between God and his people had always been there in the temple marked by that veil.
Jesus took on the sting of death so that we might live. We were no longer on the outside of the veil. For the first time, we were on the inside, at the mercy seat of God. My bee veil does nothing for me if I do not put it on, zip it around tight to my body, and abide within it. I must be on the right side of the veil to abide in the peace of Christ. Because of Jesus sacrifice – his body and his blood – we can be on the right side of the veil.
2 Corinthians 3:16-18 says, “But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”
Jesus is our peace and our protection. Our true peace does not come from what we do, but rather where we are. If we choose the gift of Jesus’ sacrifice that annihilated the separation that once left us with the sting of death coming with unavoidable speed, then we will live in Jesus’ loving protection. He is our peace.
In Jesus’ words:
“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.” John 17:24
Other great resources:
- What a Beautiful Name by Hillsong
- “For He Himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has torn down the dividing wall of hostility.” Ephesians 2:14
- Trials are temporary, His peace is not.
- Training the Mind to Align. Phil 4:8-9 goes on to remind us that it is in the thinking about whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, etc…. Putting those things into our thoughts and into practice are what bring peace.
- Peace of Christ, not peace of this world. Don’t be fooled by worldly peace. Take on the chaotic, life changing peace of Christ. It will be chaotic here on earth because it contradicts earthly peace, but it will be fulfilling and in the eternal the right and true peace. Matthew 10:34-39 – love Him FIRST.
- When we stop striving for the seen we have peace in the much grander unseen
- I Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” Speak it, over and over again, until peace comes.