(Image courtesy of Taylor Hansberry.)
 "Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1).
When you think of peace, what do you think of?  I picture two children striving against one another over a toy.  Both are upset.  Faces are tight with fear and anxiety.  Anger begins to fill their eyes and beads of sweat line their foreheads.  Neither one is willing to give in to the other's wishes.  There is no peace between them, only a rift of bitterness.  Finally, mom and dad see what is happening and begin to mediate between the two parties.  Little by little, their anger and hatred toward one another subsides and they are reconciled in a few minutes - thanks to the mediation by mom and dad.


This is not at all what is happening in Romans 5:1.

Man and God are not two equal parties striving against one another.  Jesus Christ is not mediating a truce between God's wrath and man's sinfulness, where both sides are willing to compromise.  On the contrary, Jesus Christ subdues us in order to bring peace.  In other words, God doesn't change; we do.

This is because God is the Creator and the Ruler, and we are not the creator nor the ruler.  We are under Him - but we rebelled.  He is holy; we are not.  He is righteous; we are not.  He is perfect; we are not.  Humans are the ones in need of a mediator and an advocate, not God.

We can liken this type of peace to a peace between animals and man.  Even a bear can be subdued to bring peace between animal and man.  Man, in relation to animals and nature, has been given dominion and power by God to rule over such things.  We can, therefore, subdue wild animals, conquer forests and mountains, and make wild animals our pets.  In order to bring peace between nature and man, man subdues it; he does not compromise with nature.

Still, this example fails (as all examples will) to illustrate the peace that is made between God and man by Jesus Christ.

The truth of the matter is that God is the King and all things are to live under His righteous rule and reign.  Man, however, is striving against God, rebelling from His rule and His reign, seeking to establish his own self as the rule-maker and the reign-holder.  There is but one option for the King: He will squash the rebellion out of His just anger.  Man's striving has brought righteous wrath from the true King upon them.  Man needs peace, but how?

Enter Jesus Christ.  He became a man, was treated as a rebel, and drank the cup of God's wrath as a man.  Therefore, in the death of His own body, He was able to offer a pleasing and acceptable payment to God for man's rebellion.  In this kindness and love, Christ has subdued a people through faith who are brought happily under God's rule and reign.

If a King has enemies, he must subdue his enemies in order to have peace.  A good King will never compromise with evil, wicked men.  Instead, he subdues them.  This is what Christ has done for all humans who "have been justified by faith".

Praise be to our Lord Jesus Christ, for He has mediated peace for us with God!  The perfect Son of God has been treated as a rebel for the sake of His elect!  Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!


"Oh, God who makes the mountain's melt come wrestle us and win" (Shane and Shane, "Psalm 46").