Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Peacemakers who long to be like God have surrendered themselves to God’s will to pursue His righteousness and mercy with purity of heart. How else could they be trusted to step into the midst of conflicted people?
Of course, when we talk about things like being children of God who want to be like their Father we must acknowledge that He is the ultimate, perfect peacemaker. For, from the beginning of creation, knowing that man’s free will would lead him to rebellion and death, God took the initiative to reconcile this chasm between His holiness and our sin. And so, Jesus Himself, in obedience to His Father’s will, chooses to make peace between God and man by giving Himself to suffer the penalty of man’s sin. In essence, God demonstrates in the cross both the heinous nature of our sin and the depths of His love for us. This is the action of the ultimate, perfect, complete, proactive, loving Father; our peacemaker.
GOOD FRIDAY & EASTER
And so, the one event in Jesus’ life that is inextricably linked to the ancient Jewish celebration of the Passover can be accurately calendared each year is Jesus’ crucifixion. With that anchor point, then, we date His resurrection which we celebrate three days later, on the first day of the week: Easter. This is not new information. In fact, the whole world knows this and must acknowledge the date whether believer or non-believer.
The ultimate expression of God’s love for mankind is found in an ancient feared instrument of torture and death for criminals. “For God so loved the world,” the apostle John says, “that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Laying His live down for us, bearing the weight of our sin, God takes man’s place in order to bring peace between Himself and our brokenness.
A PROACTIVE GOD AS PEACEMAKER
11 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth…12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
14 For he himself is our peace….”
– Paul – Ephesians 2:11-14a
7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!
-Paul – Romans 5:7-9
Peacemaking is not to be taken lightly. For the two opposing parties a peacemaker may be able to negotiate agreements and wrestle with compromises that each side may choose to accept. But it is important to bear in mind that peacemakers may also be called to give of themselves completely, without reservation, in order to bring two opposing parties together. We know this because this is what God Himself did so we could have peace with Him. Peacemakers who understand this are closer to grasping God’s initiative in hopes of becoming more like Him; like a child imitates his or her Father.