Ephesians 2:14-16 - 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 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, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.
In ancient Jerusalem in the Jewish temple, there was a wall that seperated the “Court of Gentiles” from the rest of the structure and functioned as a warning that any Gentile (non-Jewish person) who passed beyond the wall would be killed. The wall physically separated Jew and Gentile. The wall also represented the spiritual reality that Gentiles were separated from God.
In verse 14 Paul tells us that Jesus “has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility,” which means that when Jesus died on the cross, his death made the spiritual wall crumble down. Let me explain. Verse 15 says Jesus abolished the “law of commandments.” The real barrier that prevented Gentiles from having fellowship with God wasn’t a wall in the temple but rather the law of God. The law demanded perfection, but no mere human could meet the expectation of the law; therefore, the law acted like a blockade preventing people from entering into God’s presence.
The good news is that through his sinless life, Jesus fulfilled the expectations of the law on our behalf. By dying in our place for our sin, Jesus took the punishment we deserved for breaking the law. This satisfied God’s righteous wrath, and justice prevailed. What was the outcome? Peace. Because of Jesus, we can be forgiven of our sins and reconciled to God. This is why Jesus is called the Prince of Peace. He makes it possible for enemies of God to have peace with God and become friends of God, but Jesus did more than that.
Jesus not only destroyed the hostility between God and Gentiles, but he also destroyed the hostility between Jews and Gentiles. Notice in verse 15 that Paul says, “he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace,” which means there is no longer ethnic division between Christians. In Christ, we are all one people. This truth applies to all ethnic groups. In Christ, we are no longer divided. Now, we are all one people - God’s people.
• How does the peace of Jesus impact your relationship with God?
• How does the peace of Jesus impact your relationships with people who are ethnically different than you?
• Action - Spend some time in prayer praising God for making peace (in Jesus) possible.