And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! Philippians 2:8
Listen: Philippians 2
Both Rome and Jesus offered peace. Rome’s offer of peace was through its extensive military power. An excellent example of Rome’s view of peace through power is the frieze from Aphrodisias showing Tiberius stepping on the head of a woman representing Britain.
Both Rome and Jesus used the cross as a tool to achieve peace. Rome’s use of the cross was to say to people, “if you don’t do what we say, we will hang you on a cross.”
Instead, Jesus took the cross (a Roman torture device) and turned it into a symbol of peace. He brought peace through a humble life sacrificed on that cross. He brought peace when he instructed us to love our neighbors and to forgive those who hurt us. Instead of an empire built on where you were born or how much money you have, Jesus brought peace creating a community where that stuff doesn’t matter (Galatians 3:28).
Jesus’ peace is both now and not yet. As we follow the instructions of Jesus, we find peace by placing our lives in his hands. The bumps and curveballs of life no longer shake us to our foundations (Philippians 4:5-7). We also know there is a greater peace to come. One day we will find peace in the very presence of God, where there will be no more pain or suffering (Revelation 21:4).
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Consider that Jesus’ plan for peace included a Roman cross—not to put others on but himself. Last weekend we sang a song called “Reckless Love.” The song says, “When I was Your foe, still Your love fought for me… When I felt no worth, You paid it all for me.” The price for our lives was Jesus’ death on the cross. Return to that song today and thank God for the reckless love that pursued you.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.