By Stan Brown
Ephesians 2:14 For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one, and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall,
Jesus Christ unites us all in one body as he brings to fruition the words of Isaiah the prophet Peace, peace to him who is far and to him who is near,” Says the LORD, “and I will heal him. (Is. 57:19)” (This is another one of those prophecies that has more than one fulfillment. The near-term fulfillment is the return of Jews to the land while Paul uses the far-term fulfillment of bringing Jews and Gentiles together in one body.) Such a fulfillment would have seemed impossible to the Jews of the time but God is in the business of bringing to pass the impossible. He is still the One who accomplishes that today.
The union begins with Christ who is our peace. The death of Christ on the cross brings peace among believers of all ilks. We are all one in Him. The Gentiles who were afar off have been brought near by the work of Christ on the cross. One might say the Jews have been brought near as well. Christ has brought peace among all those who are now near, that is among all believers. In His own person, Christ embodies all that peace is. In bringing peace, He has brought to us peace with God and peace with each other. I could spend some time talking about how this peace works out in practice but we will just leave it with the fact that Christ has placed us in the position where peace can reign in our lives.
In the past Gentiles, in effect, had to become Jews (proselytes that is) in order to reach God. When Christ died, the barrier of the Law (see verse 15) was destroyed and the message was brought near to all. The magnificence of a personal relationship with the creator of the universe is now easily accessible to all. Faith is all that is required. God has already accomplished all the rest.
In a practical sense the death of Christ has broken down all barriers. The wall between God and us has crumbled as sin was defeated. The barricade between people has been potentially obliterated as each one has the opportunity to believe in Him. In a world where the differences and hostilities among people is currently being highlighted as never before, at least in our lifetime, God holds out the only hope. The hope is not tied to an election victory, whichever side one is on. The hope for unity and order is tied to an acceptance of Jesus Christ and His death on the cross. There is no other answer. Anything else is like beating the wind and the world today is flailing about in its battle with the wind. We are God’s chosen message of light to the world today and must live in light of it.