“For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” NKJV
It wasn’t an ordinary birth. I mean pretty much all of it was neither routine nor planned … at least not by Mary or Joseph. But yet, everything about the birth had been designed perfectly with exact detail. From the beginning of time, when sin shattered the Shalom (peace) of God’s perfect creation, He put a promise of restoration in place. One day, He would redeem the peace lost in that garden.
“And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” Luke 2:7 NKJV
It seemed pretty make-do, and frankly not at all peaceful for one named Prince of Peace. There was the “run” to Bethlehem on a donkey at nine-months pregnant, the unsuccessful exhausting hunt for a vacant hotel, a messy birth where animals fed, and a makeshift cradle in a feeding trough.
Certainly the esthetics were not every girl’s dream, nor any man’s, yet, God planned and purposed every particular.
And then on that night, with the newborn in her arms, Mary did the normal, customary thing to do. She wrapped the Prince of Peace in narrow strips of cloth.
Perhaps she’d packed them, maybe Joseph found a pharmacy open 24/7 and begged it from someone, or perhaps a stranger took pity on the shivering newborn. But, like any other baby born that night in Bethlehem, Baby Jesus’ first clothing cocooned Him tight and warm, like a womb against the night air.
Outside the town, shepherds on a hillside guarded their sheep, while a short distance away the Lamb of God slept. Suddenly the Angel of the Lord split the sky, and the Lord’s glory showed bright.
And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger. (Luke 2:12 NKJV)
A great multitude of angels appeared in the night sky, terrifying and thrilling the shepherds. An overflowing river of benediction burst in heavenly chorus, “Peace on earth, good will toward men.”
“Peace?” you may ask with a hint of sarcasm, or maybe dripping with it as you watch the affairs of our world unfold.
Where once a Child’s cry pierced the night with the promise of peace, today cries of grief penetrate the blackness with sounds of combat. Where is this peace amid the rubble of war torn buildings, bereavement, and poverty? What was the prophet talking about in Isaiah 9:6?
Why is Jesus called the Prince of Peace when fighting and sorrow divide us? “Peace?” you may ask with a hint of sarcasm, or maybe dripping with it as you watch the affairs of our world unfold Click To Tweet
A battle rages in each of our souls, a clash between kingdoms with eternal stakes. Hundreds of years before Divinity wrapped Himself in human flesh, the words of Isaiah prophesied a victorious Savior. He would be the Prince of Peace. He would restore the Shalom shattered by sin. His victorious battle would restore harmony with God, making a way for a new kind of birth. Why is Jesus called the Prince of Peace when fighting and sorrow divide us? Click To Tweet
Jesus, wrapped in swaddling cloths as an Infant, grew to Manhood. Tempted even as are we, He lived a sinless life. Crucified on a cross, bound with strips of linen, they laid His body, not in a cradle but in a tomb.
Sometimes we gaze into the Christmas window, with its sweet carols and swaddled-serenity, yet underneath we wonder, where is peace? We chafe against what binds us. Our own piercing cries echo the harsh realities of illness, suffering, and pain, and we feel shackled by life’s burdensome restrictions.
We peer longingly over the edge of the manager and hope for reprieve. This Christmas, as we look to the cradle, may it invite us to see the cross. Sometimes we gaze into the Christmas window, with its sweet carols and swaddled-serenity, yet underneath we wonder, where is peace? Click To Tweet
Someday, the Prince of Peace will come again, magnificent and clothed in white. He will rule in Perfect Peace. This holiday, as we linger in the sparkling reminders of His birthday, may His true Peace fill our hearts and overflow onto everyone we meet.