INI + AMEN.
Peace! That’s what the Lord wants. Not just peace of mind. But actual peace. He doesn’t want some human idea of world peace. That’s just an empty substitution, an idol, instead of the true peace He wants. He wants peace between Him and all humanity. He wants “peace on earth”—no more separation between God and men. He wants His mercy, “peace, goodwill” to be “toward men,” that is, for men, for you—each of you.
What the Lord wants, He gets. He moves all of human history to do it. Abraham. Isaac. Jacob. The children of Israel. Egypt. Exodus. David. Prophets. Priests. Blood sacrifices. Tabernacle. Temple. All waiting for, all preparing for, all pointing to One—Jesus, God with a body. There, in Him, is the Lord God getting what He wants for you—peace.
Jesus is our “Peace-maker,” but how? What are “the things that make for your peace,” as Jesus says today? Certainly, all of history that Jesus moved in order to come, but more specific than that. Jesus “made peace by the blood of His cross.” His body given and His blood shed are the things that make for peace. That’s the Lord’s way. Where all the Old Testament pointed. Where even you, today, should look for peace.
JESUS’ BODY AND BLOOD MAKE FOR YOUR PEACE.
When it comes to that method of payment, Jesus’ body and blood, there’s no room for chief priests or scribes. There’s no “leaders,” that is, people who “are something.” No money changers, either. Not that there isn’t room. Jesus shed His blood for all of them, too. It’s just they exclude themselves.
Other payment. That’s what money changers were good at. You needed temple coins to transact with Yahweh. Scribes and chief priests had other payment, too. They had access, others didn’t. They kept themselves and others from the true Transactor, the true Riches, the true Currency—blood-bought peace and mercy. That’s what they should’ve been about, but, as is the Lord’s Way, in their rejecting Jesus, they brought about His blood-bought mercy for all. They didn’t destroy Him in our text, but they’d have their day. They’d get Him, but they couldn’t destroy Him: blood shed, life given, life restored on the Third Day.
It’s not Jesus’ fault they rejected Him, His life, death, and resurrection for them. He suffers Himself to be rejected, and then He gives them what they want—other payment. He removes His Word and Gifts from a place and goes elsewhere with them. Jesus warns: “If only you, even you, knew today the things for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.” Jesus doesn’t hold back. If He hides His Gifts, removes them, takes His body and blood away, well, then He’s giving you what you wanted.
Other payment. That’s what we want, too. We set up all sorts of ways. Ways that have nothing to do with the body and blood of Jesus. What sort of roadblocks do our put in the way for you or others to not receive the means of peace—Jesus’ body and blood? Or maybe we think the Lord’s Gifts are a game. That His body and blood really aren’t all that important in the grand scheme of your life, your neighbor’s life, or even in the grand scheme of the universe. But the Creator of the universe took on body and blood, not only so that He could render payment for you, but so that He could actually deliver the payment price to you, so that He could deliver the means of peace to you. His body and blood for you to eat and to drink.
The reason we’re money changers, looking for some sort of transaction with God, either for ourselves or those in our daily lives is because we don’t actually believe what Jesus says. It’s why we exact interest on people for how they’ve wronged us. It’s why we can look around and think that we’re better off than them, spiritually speaking, because of how we’re not them by how we act or don’t act. It’s why we think we can get by in life without the means of peace—Jesus’ body and blood. But Creator of the universe. Body and blood. For you. We receive into our bodies the means of peace with God, Jesus’ body and blood, and so in our daily lives, which we go about living in our bodies, we deliver that same peace, kindness, gentleness, forgiveness to others.
Now, you can go on living as if it’s not true that JESUS’ BODY AND BLOOD MAKE FOR YOUR PEACE. You can live as if “Creator of the universe; Body and blood; For you” isn’t really that big of a deal. You can peddle some other payment: how good things go for you, how you’re not like other people, how you’ve got the right answers all the time, you’ve always just been here—whatever it is. Now, the swift destruction Jesus prophesied in our text may not physically happen like it did for Jerusalem, but that destruction is the spiritual reality apart from the means of peace. You may have peace of mind, but no actual peace with God.
There’s only one way to have peace with God. JESUS’ BODY AND BLOOD MAKE FOR YOUR PEACE. Jesus makes peace by the blood of His cross, the divine “coinage” far more precious than silver or gold, or whatever else we try with ourselves or others. Jesus sheds it and delivers it to you, for you to drink, along with His body given you to eat. There is peace. “Creator of the universe” peace. “Body and blood” peace. “For you” peace. It’s a big deal—an eternal deal! Jesus doesn’t hold back. Full fledged peace. A peace for your daily life. A peace that goes through death. A peace that lasts the Last Day. A peace that continues in the resurrection. A peace that endures forever. JESUS’ BODY AND BLOOD MAKE FOR YOUR PEACE.
INI + AMEN.