Ephesians 2:14-16, “For he Himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in His flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that He might create in Himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.”
For the sake of time, I’m going to try to keep today’s explanation to a minimum. There is much that could be said about these verses. Essentially, Paul explains how the person and work of Christ has done away with the Jew / Gentile divide that had sectioned off humanity into two camps for so long. He has done this by creating a “new humanity” or a “third race” in Himself, neither Jew nor Gentile but part of the True Humanity, reconstituted under the headship of the True Adam.
The implications here are many, but all I want to address today is that last phrase,
“…reconcil[ing] us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.”
These few words are the death knell for ethnic, cultural, or tribal barriers between members of the human family (at least, those united to Christ). Paul’s logic here is that, because EVERY KIND of person (most primarily Jew and Gentile, but under that heading, we might add in whatever divisions are most notable in our context), becauseEVERY KIND of person is a sinner and at enmity with God, and because EVERY KIND of person is reconciled to God in the ONE MAN, Jesus Christ, therefore the hostility that once existed between those now reconciled to God must neccessarily be done away with. To be reconciled to GOD–rightly understood–is also to be reconciled to one another.
Hostility between those who have received the slain and risen Son as Lord and Savior is an anti-Christ, anti-gospel tragedy and it speaks lies about our Lord to a world that desperately needs to know Him as He is…..this is true for Christians of various ethnicities, cultural heritages, political stances, familial tribes, etc. etc…..if we are truly IN CHRIST, we must also LOVE one another……where hostility exists between followers of Christ, we bear witness that we do not yet know our Master or the work of His love as we ought. May God give us grace to grow in these things!