Zechariah 9:10 “He will proclaim peace to the nations.”
It was a very short sentence. It’s actually one word in the Greek language. The person uttering that sentence was in the throes of death, but he rallied his strength to cry out so that someone could have heard it from perhaps a distance of a few hundred feet or so. The speaker? Jesus. The sentence? “It is finished.” On this Friday that we call Good, the Christian church throughout the world stands in awe at what happened on Calvary almost two thousand years ago.
What happened was the unimaginable: the death of God’s Son, the Author of life. What happened was the completion of a plan that God had formulated in eternity and set into motion in Eden.
Eden, after all, was the site of rebellion against God. By rejecting the will of God and aligning themselves with Satan, Adam and Eve destroyed the peaceful relationship they had enjoyed with God and with each other. Even more tragically, their disobedience affected the entire human race. “Just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12). A world of sinners was now pitted against the holy God. People were unwilling and unable to reverse the situation, but God was not.
Enter Jesus, the eternal Son of God. He took on human flesh as the Prince of peace to reestablish peaceful relations between God and the world. And he did just that by living and dying as the world’s substitute. So when Jesus cried out on the cross, “It is finished,” he was announcing that he had done everything necessary to bring the world back into a peaceful relationship with God. With that triumphant exclamation, Jesus was proclaiming peace to the nations of the world. He was declaring to you that you are at peace with God.
That declaration is a fact. Jesus is not asking you to meet him at a peace conference, where the two of you can negotiate. Jesus is not inviting you to finish the work he started, but only to believe it: “It is finished.” Salvation is accomplished. Peace has been secured.
When Jesus proclaimed that peace on the cross, there were representatives from many nations in Jerusalem who might have been in a position to hear that announcement. After all, there were many Passover pilgrims in the city. Today, we Christians voice that proclamation of peace to the nations of the world. Through personal witness and support of world missions, we proclaim peace to the nations.