Religious upheaval and fights between fathers and sons accompanied Jesus Christ and his ministry, yet he is the Prince of Peace. How? He started by living a perfect life.
In the Beginning . . .
Following the plan of God, Adam and Eve transgressed by partaking of the forbidden fruit, the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. Through this transgression, they gained an understanding of all things good and evil but left no way open for themselves or their children to return to live with God after death. That is, unless a savior, someone capable of living a perfect life, willingly suffered for humankind’s sins, allowed himself to be killed, and broke the bonds of death. That man is Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
The History . . .
Jesus was born in a time when the Jews were under Roman rule and in political bondage. The Pharisees taught and devised unnecessary religious laws for the Jews to follow. Many of the extremely detailed laws kept people from serving others or from understanding the Law of Moses.
The Pharisees felt their involvement in the government was necessary; the Roman’s only allowed religious freedom and their political involvement was refused. Because of the Romans, many Jews looked for a savior to rescue them from political bondage. Jesus, however, came to rescue us all from physical and spiritual bondage instead.
Those with power, such as the Pharisees, who had religious power, and the Sadducees, who had monetary power, refused to recognize Jesus as the Son of God. He did not free them politically and he was the son of a simple carpenter.
Jesus performed miracles and gathered followers as he preached and taught his gospel of love. He even healed the sick on the Sabbath. The Pharisees and Sadducees found loop-holes in the laws they had written in order to prove his “sins”. Miraculously, Jesus always knew how to answer their questions and confound them. Exacerbated at the upheaval Jesus caused to their power, the religious leaders of the Jews plotted to kill the very Son of God, Jesus Christ.
The Atonement of Jesus Christ . . .
Jesus taught the people of his Father, God, the Eternal Father. He explained the work he was doing was that of his Father. The message Jesus brought to the Jews, and subsequently to the rest of the world, was one of peace and love. The gospel taught people to care for their neighbors, to pray for their enemies, and to worship Heavenly Father.
In his last few hours, Jesus celebrated Passover with his disciples, also called the twelve apostles. A woman bathed his feet with expensive oils. When the apostles tried to stop and tell her to sell the oil to help the poor, Jesus questioned them. The humble woman recognized him as the Son of God and seemed to recognize his impending death. Jesus shared the first sacrament with the men who loved him with all their hearts. The recognition that they would flee after Judas betrayed him was stated with truth but not anger.
In the Garden . . .
In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus asked the tired Peter, James, and John to watch and pray for him from a distance. With a sorrowful heart, Jesus knelt and spoke to his Father, and asked that the cup, or task, be taken from him, but only if it be God’s will and not his own. Returning twice to the three apostles, Jesus found them asleep. In all his sorrow, he asked for their support.
Knowing he would soon be taken by the Romans, Jesus knelt again and prayed for all of us, suffering for our sins so we can receive forgiveness as long as we have faith and strive to follow him. He felt all of mankind’s griefs and agonies, he felt our hurt and sorrow. The pain of the world’s sins crashed upon him and he bled great drops of blood from every pore. Jesus Christ, the Son of God — part man, so he could feel earthly pain and joy, and part god, so he could live a righteous life and become the savior necessary to save all of us from physical and spiritual death, felt the emotions, pains, and triumphs of the entire world. What love he has for us!
As Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss, one of the twelve drew a sword and cut off the ear of a high priest’s servant. Jesus, showing his absolute love, touched the servant’s ear and healed him. Turning to the disciples he questioned, “Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?”
At the Cross . . .
Taken to Pontius Pilate, Jesus stood before the Jews, who chose to release a murderer instead of the Prince of Peace. The very people Jesus prayed for in the garden chose to put him to death instead of accepting him as their savior. He hung on the cross in agony, was given vinegar to drink, and while in the process of dying, whispered supplications for forgiveness, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”
The Resurrection . . .
Even in death, Jesus Christ’s mission was not over. The disciples placed his body in the sepulchre and planned to finish the burial process after the Sabbath. It was early in the morning when Mary Magdalene, the mother of Simon, and Simone approached the sepulchre with spices and oils to anoint the Savior’s body. When they entered the tomb, two angels sat at each end of the stone and told them Jesus had risen on the third day. Amazed, the women ran and told Peter, James, and John, who then witnessed the same.
Mary Magdalene stayed at the tomb after the others left. She continued crying as the gardener asked why she wept. Then she answered, “Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.” Hearing the Savior call her name, Mary turned and beheld that the man was not the gardener, but the Savior, Jesus Christ!
Saved from Physical Death:
The suffering in Gethsemane, the sacrifice made on the cross, and the resurrection make up the atonement of Jesus Christ. He suffered for our sins in Gethsemane, he allowed himself to die for us, and he broke the bands of death so we can all be resurrected, whether we follow him or not. Now, we will all come forth during the resurrection — our spirits reconnected with our bodies. Regardless of sin or of faith, this is a gift given to every person.
Saved from Spiritual Death . . .
In the mid-1800’s, my ancestors fought for their right to follow Jesus Christ and to live the gospel. Some of them found themselves kicked out of their homes, beaten, and spat upon by their own families. A mob forced others out of their homes into the Missouri winter with the promise of death if they refused (Extermination Order). Similar actions have taken place against Christians of all sects.
Some people may question how Jesus is the Prince of Peace when his gospel brings so much tension to the world. The answer: Through our faith in him and his saving grace we may enter the Kingdom of God.
Those who follow Jesus Christ in faith receive the blessing of eternal peace and glory. We cannot reside in the Kingdom of God without the Savior because we are incapable of living a righteous earthly life. We are God the Eternal Father’s literal spirit children and He loves us. Knowing that we cannot become as He is without a savior, He provided His Son, Jesus Christ. We were all saved from physical death through the resurrection. We can be saved from spiritual death through his suffered agony in the Garden of Gethsemane if we choose to follow him in faith! Then, we can dwell with our Heavenly Father in the Kingdom of God.
Why is Jesus Christ the Prince of Peace? Because it is through him that we can live in eternal peace within the Kingdom of God. He is the beginning, the end, the Alpha and Omega, the Son of Man, the Son of God, the Redeemer, the Savior, the Prince of Peace!
Learn more about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: