Happy new year! This Advent Sunday, Christians around the world remember and celebrate when Jesus entered Jerusalem in order to transform into a cute baby and be born in Bethlehem. However, many tend to forget that this event is very political, affecting the way Christians should view war and peace.
As we know, Jesus enters Jerusalem on a donkey with his disciples accompanying him, shouting praises to Him, the son of David. When Pilate used to enter Jerusalem, he rode on a white war horse with soldiers accompanying him, shouting and singing praises to the emperor. For the earliest readers of the gospels, Jesus’ entry was a peace manifestation. In fact, the gospel writers clearly points out that it is fulfillment of the prophecy in Zechariah 9, which says:
Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!
Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you,
righteous and victorious,
lowly and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
I will take away the chariots from Ephraim
and the warhorses from Jerusalem,
and the battle bow will be broken.
He will proclaim peace to the nations.
His rule will extend from sea to sea
and from the River to the ends of the earth. (Zech 9:9-10)
The question we should ask ourselves is if we really celebrate Advent correctly if we only sing songs and wave palm leaves in church while we do not destroy the weapons of war? In fact, it was obvious that during the escalating conflict in Israel and Gaza, many Christians blessed and defended the chariots of Ephraim and warhorses of Jerusalem. This is contrary to the Messianic vision.
This Advent, let us continue the work of our Lord in proclaiming peace to the nations and breaking the battle bows. Why not start with the most damaging battle bows of all times – nuclear weapons. While biological weapons, chemical weapons and cluster bombs have been internationally condemned, nuclear weapons are still legal. As long as they aren’t banned, there is a constant risk of a nuclear war, with catastrophic consequences. Support the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons and pray for the abolishment of these horrible weapons. That’s some biblical and prophetic Advent celebration.