Excerpt from the book, Marriage Feast of the Lamb; Meditation 7
copyright 2013 by Sarah G. Pemberton
This excerpt is from a book I am writing of prayerful meditations on the full power and meaning of Holy Communion. In light of the devastation suffered in Boston today, I’m thinking that we need a reminder of the power of the Cross to restore peace where peace appears far away:
But He was pierced through for our transgressions; He was bruised and crushed for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace fell upon Him, and by His scourging Stripes, we are healed. ~ Is. 53:5
Heavenly Father, there has been war between the human soul and You since The Lie which seduced Eve and her husband to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. And there has been war between us, their children, since Cain murdered his brother Abel.
But You Yourself came to dispel The Lie by sending The Incarnate Truth to seek and to save that which had been Lost. Lies make us confused. Truth restores clarity. Lies divide loved ones from each other. Truth restores fellowship and right relationship. Lies bring anxiety. Truth produces peace.
Father, as I receive the Body and Blood of Your Son, Jesus, I receive His Peace saturating every cell in my body, every thought in my mind, every emotion, every nerve brought in subjection to Your peace. Every neurotransmitter in my brain is subjected to the Prince of Peace. You Yourself are my peace, soaking me in Your love and grace until my entire being is in agreement with Your authority of peace.
Father, I bring before You each relationship in my life which has been damaged by The Lie. I see You, Jesus, taking the chastisement which is deserved by those who hurt me with their critical judgments. You endured the critical judgments of the religious leaders whom You came to save. The judgments I deserved for my sin fell on You.
I see, You, Jesus, taking the chastisement which is deserved by me when I have hurt others by my harsh words. My harsh words fell on You, to purchase my peace, and theirs.
I see You, Lord Jesus, taking the bullying of the children who bully others because they are different. Likewise, the soldiers bullied You, as they mocked Your Kingship. The bullies’ words fell on You to win peace for every bullied child, for every abused prisoner, for every abused spouse.
The verbal chastisements which I imagine delivering to others, when I am hurt because they will not listen, or do not understand me, or try to micro-manage my life – You endured more than sufficient chastisement to render their sins sufficiently punished. You endured far worse than I ever have. The turmoil of my soul is settled by the peace of Your chastisement, which You endured fully for me.
So for every harsh word and beating You endured, I forgive those who have hurt me. For every unkind or even slightly snappish word which I have delivered to others without asking You to show me Your heart, mind, and will toward them first, please forgive me, that Your peace may replace my irritability. Thank You for removing the turmoil of my wounded relationships with others by the chastisement which brought me Your treasure of peace.
Likewise, in a world filled with violence and ineffective human governments, which cannot protect us and keep us safe, You chose to present Yourself to the very people whom You knew would kill you. As Prince of Peace, You rode into the City of David, the City of Peace, on a donkey, and announced Your Terms of Peace: Your Life in exchange for our sin. You then surrendered to the chastisement deserved by Your enemies, in order to win (for all who would receive it) the Gift of Peace to end the Ultimate War of History.
The chastisement deserved by terrorists who plague our nation with their evil deeds of false vengeance, fell on You, that in You we might know peace in the midst of horror, and might become a refuge of peace to those who know none. Father, may the power of Christ’s Resurrection bring peace to those who are now in anguish, grief, and devastation, that the world might recognize Jesus, the True Prince of Peace. May those who receive this communion as citizens of a Kingdom called Peace, rest in the rule of the Prince of Peace. May those who await justice, where injustice has prevailed, now hail the Prince of Peace, Whose chastisement upon Himself has purchased justice and peace for those who bow before Him; for He said, “Father, forgive them. They don’t know what they’re doing.”