Peace, Not Truce

Pastoral Reflections

Making truce is a familiar concept. Truce is like a cease-fire – an agreement between two parties in conflict to stop fighting each other. Its interest is in the fighting, not necessarily the wellbeing of the overall relationship.

One of the gifts of the resurrected Christ to His disciples was peace. Shalom in Hebrew. He meant peace, not truce. In the biblical sense, peace is more than the absence of conflict or trouble. Not merely something taken out of the picture, but something else present and active in it.

Interestingly, just before the exile in the Old Testament, false prophets were notorious for proclaiming peace when Israel had judgment coming. In other words, when their relationship with God lacked true wholeness. True prophets, like Jeremiah, warned against a false sense of peace. They rather proclaimed judgment and justice – out of which would come a repentance that will bring forth a lasting shalom. Peace which is from God flows out of redeemed righteousness and true belonging to Him.

Before His death, Christ prayed for our peace. After the resurrection, He proclaimed His peace to us, having ‘finished’ all that was necessary and restored our belonging with God. The peace which the prophets looked toward has been fulfilled in Christ. It is less of a feeling and more of a state of being.

Peace is a vital gift from the resurrected Christ because – though having entered with Him into the victory of His resurrection, we still live within the broken system of this present life. Therefore, this Easter season, may we know His shalom which runs deep; which finds rest in our redeemed identity in God; and which casts a renewed freshness in our souls that transcends the brokenness of this world’s system. We aren’t simply ‘not enemies of God’. We are sons and daughters of God.

May the Peace of Easter continue to be yours.