We’re continuing through the book of Ephesians. I’ve said that this letter starts the section of Scripture dealing with the church as the body of Christ. At this point Paul begins to dive into this subject.
Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (that done in the body by the hands of men) – remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.
Ephesians 2:11-13 NIV
Here the apostle starts by pointing out the wall that existed between Jew and Gentile. He tells us that it wasn’t just a matter of semantics. There were physical differences.
It wasn’t just the labels of Jew and Gentile. You were either circumcised or you were not. That can translate into our world as well.
People have placed these invisible walls between blacks and whites, rich and poor, educated and uneducated, as well as a host of other “opposites”. This section of Scripture speaks to all of these issues.
Paul makes it clear that without Christ there was no hope of reconciliation. The gap between the two groups was too great for us to bridge in our humanity.
But now…everything changes in Christ. Because of the blood of the Lord, shed on the cross, we can come together. We have been brought closer to each other in Christ.
For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations.
Ephesians 2:14-15a NIV
This passage of Scripture is rich in meaning. It should be one that we memorize and apply daily. The truth is that Jesus Christ is our peace.
Now that’s a word we really need to understand. Too often when we read the word, peace in the Bible, we give it our modern definition. We think, peaceful, calm and quiet. That’s not what the Greek word means in this verse.
The main definition for this word, peace means that you’re not participating in a war. The secondary meaning is that there is harmony between individuals. It’s all about getting along with others.
This tells me that my ability to live harmoniously with others rests securely in my relationship with Christ. He is the peace between me and others. That’s especially true in regard to those who are very different than me.
That’s what being a part of Christ’s body means. I am in Christ. You are in Christ. Therefore, we are one. The color of our skin, our ethnicity, our experiences and our backgrounds don’t matter. God has made us one new person in Christ Jesus.
The fact is that in our humanity we were raised with many different biases. This verse calls them the dividing walls of hostility. Throughout my life, I’ve been taught to mistrust and look down on certain types of people. This is the baggage we all carry.
This needs to be laid aside at the cross. In Christ this “old man” needs to die. I now live as a new person. I am one with anybody who calls Jesus Christ their Lord and Savior.
Jesus took all the hatred and mistrust to the cross with Him. It was nailed there and now we can take on His peace. We can walk in unity with anyone who He brings across our path.
This is the true path to peace. It’s only found in Christ Jesus.
Question: How has your treatment of others changed since coming to Christ?
© 2023 Nick Zaccardi