Updated: Oct 21, 2020
“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of 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. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:13-18 NIV).
Have you ever experienced an event in your life that was so significant that it actually changed who you are? Moms definitely can say yes to this, dads too. Maybe it was a death in the family like it was with me when my father died. Or maybe it was a wedding or going to college or immigrating to a new country. In any event, I am speaking of something that changes so much of your life that it actually changes your very identity. Not just a change in a name but a deep, deep inner change that even makes you feel different.
Many of us may even say the day we were saved is this event, and that can be very true because this is exactly what our passage today is speaking of. But it is also more. We are speaking of the Cross and that moment on the Cross when time itself changed forever. The Cross is the singular event in time that changed how we even define time into a before and an after. Key for us to understand is Verse 14 where it says, "For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility…” Because of Him, His peace, He abolished hostility and made two into one, into one body. Jew and gentile are not the same. We can say that truthfully about any apposing two groups, opposites made one.
Man and women made one.
Black, brown, yellow, red, and white made one.
Rich and poor made one.
Right and left (Republican and Democrat) made one.
Unbeliever and Christ made one.
Church and community made one.
We could go on and on to list any two groups hostility exists between. Even Muslim and Christian can be made one because of Christ and His death on the Cross. Time and even our very identities were changed…and continue to be changed. The Cross is THE event that changed all things and is still changing them like ripples through time. There are no more us and them, just us “creations of God.” We are one just like Father, Son and Spirit are one. With this event on the Cross and it's ripples through time, Jesus changes our social understanding of “loving others” from a horizontal social task into a vertical from a worship of God.
The tough question is, do I see anyone else as an “other,” and why?
Why is it that I cannot see everyone as a creation of God?
1 Ephesians 2:13-18 NIV
2 George Lyons, Robert Smith, and Kara Lyons-Pardue, Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon: A Commentary in the Wesleyan Tradition, ed. Alex Varughese and George Lyons, New Beacon Bible Commentary (Kansas City, MO: Beacon Hill Press, 2019), 105.