In the spring of 2020, in a quiet museum in Jerusalem, I saw the price Jesus paid for our peace. Back in 1968, some building contractors stumbled upon a tomb just east of the city, and in the tomb they found a nail stuck through bone, the first surviving evidence of a crucifixion. That chunk of human heel and first-century metal now sits in a glass case, inviting museum goers to draw near and consider the horror of death on a cross.
As I inched my nose closer to that glass, I thought about the price Jesus paid so we could have peace with a perfect God. Isaiah’s words felt fitting: “The punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).
I can’t fathom the pain of having a nail driven through flesh and nerve and bone, but that is what Jesus chose. The God who owed us nothing, who himself needed nothing, gave up everything to put us first. The Prince with the crown laid it all down, laid himself down, and was himself lifted up so you could be first. The first to know you are forgiven. The first to know God isn’t mad anymore. The first to know even if there’s drama everywhere out there, there is none here, not with God.
This is why we marvel at the gospel and call Jesus our Prince of peace!