Imagine the time when Jesus walked the streets of Jerusalem. What was it like to learn directly from the Master? You would be on an emotional high and have spiritual peace, right?
Near the end of His human life, Jesus made a great promise. He promised His followers that He would leave them with His peace. He said: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).
The most definitive discourse on peace in all of the Bible comes from Jesus Christ’s suffering in great pain on the night before He died.
It might seem strange that someone could have real peace while anticipating the most difficult and horribly agonizing trial of His life. But Christ knew and understood the great purpose for which He had come to this earth—a purpose that superseded everything else. Without His sacrifice for our sins, there could be no salvation.
It’s interesting that what is the most definitive discourse on peace in all of the Bible comes from Jesus Christ’s suffering in great pain on the night before He died. He knew what He was about to face, yet still took time to comfort His disciples with a message about peace.
After Jesus arose from the dead, the Gospel of John records three times Jesus declaring to His disciples, “Peace be with you” (John 20:19-26). These declarations teach us that the resurrection enabled peace to be with us through the risen Christ living in us through the Holy Spirit.
How do we find the peace Christ promised—the peace that overcomes our natural frustrations and troubling anxieties? Even the disciples, after walking alongside Jesus for many years, struggled with peace and faith.
Peace That Surpasses All Understanding
The real peace Christ offers is genuine and “surpasses all understanding.” Most people today don’t understand peace from a godly perspective. All we know is the negative aspect of peace—which is merely the absence of trouble. Some people say that peace is the absence of war!
But the biblical concept of peace does not focus on the absence of war or strife or trouble. Biblical peace is unrelated to the circumstances of life. One can be in the midst of great trials, yet still have godly peace.
Paul said he could be content in any circumstance. He showed us that peace even when in jail or being stoned. He remained confident in God’s direction over his life. He wrote: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
We need that peace. It may not make sense that such peace could exist in the midst of all the problems and troubles we go through. But this is divine, supernatural peace—a fruit of the Holy Spirit. It cannot be figured out on a carnal level.
Christ offers us, on an individual basis, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to embrace peace today—rather than waiting for the time when the Kingdom of God comes to this earth. As the firstfruits—the first to be called and chosen—we can have that peace.
Jesus’ disciples came to expect peace from Him, but can you imagine how it must have confounded His enemies? Those who didn’t know Him became irate. When Jesus appeared before Pilate, He was so calm, so sure and so at peace that Pilate became greatly irritated. He was furious that Jesus was standing before him without fear. Pilate said: “Are You not speaking to me? Do You not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You” (John 19:10)?
Then in perfect assurance Jesus replied, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above” (John 19:11). This is the kind of peace we need in this life. That’s the peace we receive through the power of the Holy Spirit. The source of peace is Christ!
In fact, Christ is seen throughout the New Testament as the giver of peace, and He is always with us all: “Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all” (2 Thessalonians 3:16).
Finding the Peace Christ Promised
How do we find the peace Christ promised—the peace that overcomes our natural frustrations and troubling anxieties?
We find a key to discovering true peace in Psalms 119:165: “Great peace have those who love Your law, and nothing causes them to stumble.”
Loving God’s law clearly implies obedience to it. We have to do something. We have to do His commandments. In contrast, “‘There is no peace,’ says my God, ‘for the wicked’” (Isaiah 57:21). True peace comes as a result of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and then Him living in us as we follow His commandments.
Speaking of Christ’s sacrifice and peace, the apostle Paul wrote: “For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross” (Colossians 1:19-20).
A sinful person has to be reconciled to God, and has to continue in the faith. We have to keep His commandments. The blood of Christ allows us to come before God and to be at peace with God. Christ died for our sin, imputing His righteousness upon us. So Paul says we are no longer enemies but are at peace because we are reconciled.
This is our hope. We are filled with joy and peace through the power of the Holy Spirit in us after our conversion and baptism and the laying on of hands. “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).
“Peace I Leave With You”
Jesus told His disciples: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you” (John 14:27). God’s peace is not like the peace of the world. The world’s peace is fleeting.
The only peace this world can know is shallow and unfulfilling. The fact is, apart from God, there is no real peace in this world. The peace of this world can be nothing more than a momentary time of tranquility.
However, the process of building righteous character into our lives through a dynamic relationship with God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ will ultimately bring us real spiritual peace. That peace is available today to you and me, and the fullness of this promise will be realized in the culmination of God’s plan. Jesus said: “My peace I give to you.”
As we have Jesus Christ living in us through the power of the Holy Spirit, we are being filled with the peace of God—a fruit of the Holy Spirit. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ and His subsequent resurrection makes this all possible for us. And we can rejoice in that.
Enjoy the peace that surpasses all understanding!