Now if all evil that befalls us mortals is the result of our original loss of peace with God, think what sorts of compensation can be ours when the God of peace takes over our lives! Therefore, let us fix our eyes on the God of peace, for only He is able to meet us at the level of our deepest needs. No wonder the Psalmists exclaims, "Great peace have they that love [Him]."
II. The Preparation of Our Peace
The second summary is tucked away in three clauses that describe the Father's work of preparing our peace.
1) Its Power. The first one is this: "Who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ." While we are amazed at the residual power of a nuclear device or of the thrust of a jet engine, here is enough power to yank our Lord Jesus right up out of the grave! It is that same power that is now being made available to us, His believing body, the Church.
Notice that it is "our" Lord Jesus who was raised from the grave. Therefore, all the work that God did towards Jesus was directed towards us as He is head of us, the Church. But there is no greater act in all of creation than the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Here is the capstone of the Christian faith, even as Paul argued in 1 Corinthians 15
. No one, reside our Lord, has ever come back from the dead to tell us whether there was life after death. No other magician, no other religion, no other philosopher, no other leader of state! This is God's proof to all who wonder if Christianity is the only true way to God and heaven. It has never been matched anywhere else in the universe at any other time.
2) Its person. The second clause is this: "that great Shepherd of the sheep." All of us like to be associated with great persons. We casually drop the names of some of the greats that we recently had contact with in order to impress those with whom we are speaking. For example, not long ago I was in Washington D.C. at the prayer breakfast with former President Bill Clinton. I must also tell you that it was not a private breakfast, for there were 4,000 other guests there for the same event. Nevertheless, names and persons are very important to us. But what about this One who is the greatest name of all names, our great Shepherd, the Lord Jesus Christ?
Notice again that Jesus is "that" One promised in the Old Testament. He is the One who feeds His flock like a shepherd and gathers up lambs in His arms to carry them" (Isaiah 40:10-11
). He is "that" shepherd promised in Ezekiel 34:23
who would return one day, the Servant of David. "That" Shepherd will one day be king over all believers, and we shall all have just "one shepherd" in that day according to Ezekiel 37:24
As Shepherd, He feeds His sheep, ruling over them and instructing them. But this Shepherd also lays down His life for His sheep, thus He is a priest who offers Himself as a sacrifice. What a Shepherd we have. Look how gentle and affirming He is for every one who goes astray!