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Eternal Peace Sermon

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“Our Eternal Peace”

“Peace” is the rendering of shalom. The term was used both in greeting and for farewell. This, however, is no ordinary farewell. “My peace” is Jesus’ bequest of the peace which is no less than the salvation of the kingdom of God (“The new order is simply the peace of God in the world,” Hoskyns, 461). It was to bring this into being that Jesus came, was departing, and was to come again. (For the concept of the Messiah as the bringer of peace cf. Isa 9:6–7; 52:7; 57:19; Ezek 37:26; Hag 2:9; Acts 10:36; Rom 14:17.) Jesus’ gift of shalom is given “not as the world gives it”; its greetings of “shalom” have no power (cf. Jer 6:14), and its attempts to establish it in the world come to naught. A striking example of the latter is the famous Ara Pacis, altar of peace, erected in Rome by Augustus, the first of its emperors, to celebrate his establishment of the age of peace proclaimed by the prophets; it still stands in Rome, a monument to the skill of its sculptors and to the empty messianic pretensions of its emperors.


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