“… The Prince of Peace … the chastisement of our peace was upon Him … “ Isaiah 9:6; 53:5 KJV
“… The Prince of Peace … the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him …” Isaiah 9:6, 53:5 NASB
Isaiah is the great evangelist of the Old Testament. His prophecy has sounded out the prospect and promise of peace as well as the pronouncements of the absence of peace (Isa 48:2; 57:21) for those who oppose God. In his great prophecy of the coming Son-Sovereign, he ascribes to the Lord Jesus the title, the Prince of Peace. The kingdom, over which He reigns, is one marked by peace; but a costly peace it is. Peace was made by God through the blood of His cross (Col 1:20). The basis for eternal peace was laid at Calvary when He gave Himself for us and bore the punishment for our peace.
Peace in divine terms and in the divine economy is far more than the cessation of hostility. It is nothing less than the outpouring of divine blessing; all the blessings which the heart and wisdom of God can give. And they have all been poured out upon us. It is the resumption of the relationship God intended for His creature to enjoy with Him.
Righteousness always precedes peace. There is no peace apart from righteousness. This is true in God’s dealings with us; and it is true in our relationships with each other. The claims of God’s righteous character had to be satisfied before God could come forth to us with the offer of peace. The Lord Jesus, in His sacrifice for sins, satisfied not only the heart of God but the holiness of God. God can now be righteous (Just) and make righteous (Justifier – Rom 3:25) those who trust His Son. There is a sense in which God is complete and nothing can be added to Him. Yet, the Lord Jesus has added a new glory to the name of His Father. His sacrifice has made it possible for God to be a “Justifying” God, a God Who is able, amazingly, to justify the ungodly (Rom 4:6) and declare us “right” in His sight.
When we link righteousness with peace, our minds move to Melchisedec, King of Righteousness and King of Peace. His ministry to Abraham was one of blessing and sustenance. He brought forth bread and wine and blessed him by revealing to him an aspect of God which he had not known: “The Most High God, Possessor of heaven and earth” (Gen 14:19). He provided resources to sustain and a revelation to preempt the temptation about to be presented by the king of Sodom (vv 21-24).
A Prince is a King in waiting. He is our Great High Priest now, after the order of Melchisedec. That is His right to be Priest. But as Prince of Peace, He is awaiting a day when He will be King of Peace and, in Melchisedec character, bless an entire universe with the resources of Melchisedec.
The prospect is thrilling to consider. Edward Denny wrote of “Creation all, below above, redeemed and blessed by Thee.” The prospect is that because of the Lord Jesus Christ and the mighty work of the cross, an entire universe will know peace. That does not mean the cessation of war and conflict. That is only the removal of the negative. But it will know blessings beyond imagination; an entire world in harmony with heaven will resound with praise to God through the Lord Jesus.
In that day, “the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance forever.” (Isa 32:17).
- Collect the other titles linked with “Prince” such as “Prince of Life”
- Trace the theme of “Peace” throughout Isaiah’s prophecy