Holy Week: Echoing the Angels

Annunciation to the Shepherds miniature

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom is pleased.”- Luke 2:14.

“Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”- Luke 19:38.

There can be no peace on earth that does not result from peace in heaven. It is when there is peace with God, that man finds peace on earth.”- G. Campbell Morgan, Commentary on Luke.

The announcement by the angels that Christ has come to His people in Luke 2 presents us with the concept of heavenly peace and glory. Because of the birth of Christ, the coming of the Incarnate One, a pronouncement of peace is proclaimed over the least of all peoples, the shepherds, exclaiming to us all that the peace of God, the calmed waters, the clear skies, and the dispelling of all wrath due to His people, is to be given without measure both to the greatest and to the least. There is peace because of Christ. There is no condemnation, no wrath, no judgment, no insecurity, and no uneasiness between God and His people due to Christ. There is ultimate acceptance, ultimate good will towards His people, ultimate security, and ultimate worth in Christ. Because of God’s faithfulness, righteousness, compassion, grace and infinite goodness, all glory is to be ascribed to Him. Peace has come to earth, and worship resounds from it.

As Christ nears the end of His earthly ministry, He rides triumphantly into Jerusalem, boldly proclaiming Himself as the prophesied Messiah, and Luke records for us words that no other account does. We get these various greetings in the gospel accounts; “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” (Matt. 21:9), “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!” (Mark: 11:9-10), and “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” (John 12:13). Luke, however, records for us this very unique proclamation of the triumphal entry. On the Jerusalem streets of Luke’s account we hear echoes of that night in Bethlehem, resounding in the praises of the people as they usher in Christ. It is interesting that instead of “peace on earth”, these people proclaim, “peace in heaven”. Not to make a huge ordeal out of it, but lessons can be learned from these echoes. Not only has peace come to earth in relation to men, but peace dominates heaven as well. The peace of Christ is overwhelming and all encompassing. Because of Christ, peace overwhelms both men and angels, heaven and earth, and affects both God and man. Now in Christ, man has no fear of judgment, and God has no more wrath to give to His children because His wrath due to them was poured out upon His only Son. Luke shows us that heavenly peace and glory dominate the ministry of Christ. These are two central themes of Christ’s very person. In Him we have utter peace, and through Him we give highest glory, honor, and praise to God. As the echoes of the Bethlehem angels resound in the cries of the Jerusalem crowd, let us join them this week in meditating on the great peace we have with God through Christ and the great glory that we are to give Him with our lives for who He is and what He has done.

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