And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.
This scripture is used a lot during Christmas but it’s often misunderstood. Some translations say they were proclaiming “goodwill among men” or “peace to men of goodwill.”
That’s not why these angels were praising God. If that were true, Jesus’ own words in Matthew 10:34 would contradict this. He said,
Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
Jesus said He was not sent to bring peace on the earth among people. The peace the angels of Luke 2:13-14 were praising God for was peace BETWEEN God and man. They were announcing the end of God’s war on sin. That war is over!
Sin isn’t a problem with God anymore. Neither your past, present, or future sins can separate you from God.
The Old Testament Law was a ministry of wrath (Rom. 4:15 with 2 Cor. 3:7 and 9), and people’s sins were held against them. But when Jesus came, He actually became sin on the cross. This is exactly what 2 Corinthians 5:19 and 21 says:
that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation…For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
The word “reconciliation” is talking about making peace. God was no longer holding us accountable. Instead, He imputed our sins to Jesus, making Jesus accountable for our sins. Jesus became sin so we could become what He was—the righteousness of God.
That is something to rejoice about and praise God for!