His Peace

John 14:25-28:   “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you.  But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.  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.  You have heard Me say to you, ‘I am going away and coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, ‘I am going to the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I.”

Jesus spoke these words just a few hours before his crucifixion.  The disciples had just left the upper room with Jesus where they ate the “last supper” and they were walking together to the Garden of Gethsemene.  What a week it had been!  Jesus had ridden into Jerusalem on a donkey.  Crowds along the way had waved palm trees and shouted Hosanna.  Maybe this was the time the disciples were waiting for when Jesus would finally be recognized as King and save Israel from their oppressors. 

As the week progressed, Jesus taught many times in the temple.  His popularity seemed to be increasing.  At the same time, the religious leaders were fearful of loosing their position and plotted to kill Jesus.  Now, just a couple of hours before Jesus’ arrest and later crucifixion, He is talking with His disciples about His peace. 

Jesus explained to His disciples that while He was here on the earth, He had taught them many things.  His life had demonstrated peace.  His teachings were about living in peace.  Then He said that He would have to leave them to prepare the way for the Holy Spirit to come and be their helper, their teacher, who would continue Jesus’ ministry in and through them!  They were about to witness the most horrendous “ending” of Jesus’ life.  They didn’t have full revelation of His victory through resurrection, or His ascending to take His place as Lord of All.  Yet here was Jesus telling His followers that He would leave them His peace! 

What is peace?  When Jesus was born, the angels announced “Peace on earth, goodwill toward men!”  The way back to peace had been born into the earth.  Peace very simply means wholeness.  You see, when Adam was created he was one with his Father God.  His mission on earth was to fulfill the destiny of being fruitful and multiplying, filling the earth with the glory of the Lord.  However, when he sinned through disobedience and rebellion, he became separated from God.  If you will, he was broken off of God and had to fend for Himself. 

We know that God offered an animal sacrifice for Adam’s sin and that provided a covering for sin but couldn’t restore becoming whole and One with Father again.  It wasn’t until Jesus became the final sacrifice for all our sins that Oneness could be completely restored.  Wholeness was then available through the blood of Jesus.  That was what Jesus was talking about – He had to go away, be crucified, in order to restore us to wholeness!  In the meantime, He told His disciples I’m leaving My peace with you.  Keep walking in what you have heard from Me (no rebellion or disobedience) and soon the comforter will come and make all things clear!

Peace is being restored to being at one (atonement) with God through the blood of Jesus Christ.  Peace is maintained through living in obedience to God’s will and fulfilling His call upon our lives.  Wholeness is an ongoing process.  You see, through multiplied sin and iniquity in the world, people have become very broken and fragmented.  Trauma comes in between parts of our mind and causes  a breaking, a separation.  Wholeness is the process of bringing every part of us, spirit, soul and body, back into alignment with God.  Peace is given to us as we go through this process.  The disciples were going to go through very hard days after Jesus crucifixion.  They needed Jesus’s peace to take them through without giving in to fear and giving up.  Wholeness was on the way, but it would be a process. 

The Hebrew word for peace is Shalom.  We’ve heard that word many times.  It is the traditional Hebrew greeting.  When someone says “Shalom” it means how is it with your family, how is it with you, are you complete?  Shalom means completeness, safety, wholeness, welfare, soundness, tranquility, contentment, wholeness spirit, soul and body.  In other words, a complete bringing together to reform original creation and original intent. 

Returning to the example of the disciples.  While they were following Jesus, a lot of their understanding changed, they began to see in a new way.  The crucifixion must have really baffled their minds, but they pressed on, during that difficult time of wondering and confusion, into a new understanding of what Jesus’s resurrection, ascension and subsequent sending of the Holy Spirit really meant.  Their broken pieces (understanding) were being gathered back into wholeness.  Peace began to be manifested in them.  May your life reflect the peace and wholeness that only comes from restoration through becoming One with Father God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  (John 17)    Shalom!