Thursday, September 18, 2014

Leanna's fav's #9: Go in Peace

In celebration of the upcoming first birthday of Lines from Leanna, we are celebrating with Leanna's Favorites this week and the most popular posts of the year next week.

And He said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace." (Luke 7:50 NASB)

At last we come to the final words of this beautiful passage. "Go in peace," Jesus said to the woman. She was well known as a sinner, and scorned by the religious community.  Not welcome in polite company, she found her way to Jesus's feet only by barging in where she was not wanted, and stayed there only by the divine intervention of Christ.  Peace?  It had likely been many years since she had known peace. 

At the feet of Jesus, weeping a river of tears and using her hair as a holy towel, something incredible happened. She let go. She let go of her desire to sin, she let go of that mountain of sin and guilt she had accumulated, she let go of her shame. Giving it all to Jesus, she left it with Him. In that place where all the hurt, guilt, and shame had been was an infilling of faith, hope, and love.  It was more than enough, but Jesus had yet another gift for her. Peace. 

Peace. Isn't that a lovely word?  Webster's Dictionary defines peace as a state of tranquility or quiet, freedom from hostilities, civil disturbances, or emotional unrest. For this woman, it meant freedom from the war between good and evil, sin and holiness that had waged in her for years. The word translated here as peace is eirēnē. This is the same word the angels used when they sang before the shepherds the night Jesus was born. "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace among men." 

Sometimes used to mean "undisturbed", as well as harmony between men and nations, it can also mean the peace that only God can give. In this instance, I believe it is used with all the richness of intent possible. What Jesus offered this woman was the freedom from disturbance from her past and those who would remind her of it, as well as a freedom from fear for the future. He offered her the quiet assurance of peace with God, and the understanding that He would be with her, whatever her earthly circumstances. 

The richness of this peace can only come through repentance and the forgiveness it brings. Do you or your loved ones long for peace? You can have the same peace the woman with the alabaster vial found at the feet of Jesus. You cannot, however, keep the burden of sin and guilt you have been carrying.  It must be left at the feet of Jesus in exchange for the freedom and peace only He can give. 

If you have had enough of your burdens, leave them with Jesus and accept all the healing He longs to offer. Accept his faith, hope, and love, as well as that precious "extra".  Go in peace. 

Go in peace.