The Peace of Christ is Christ Making Peace Among Us
For he is our peace, the one who made both groups into one and who destroyed the middle wall of partition, the hostility, when he nullified in his flesh the law of commandments in decrees. He did this to create in himself one new man out of two, thus making peace, and to reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by which the hostility has been killed. ’
Ephesians 2:14–16 NET Read More
You’ve all heard (or lived) about some family that had all kinds of division and strife but they held it together whenever Grandma or Grandpa was around. “Can we just get along with each other through Christmas?” someone might say. In that case, Grandma was the peace in the room. If you crossed her, she settled things. That might not have made peace between parties, but it moved things closer to peace than a lot of yelling would do.
You might have also experienced a peacemaker in school. Two kids fighting or teens growing in bitterness can be brought together by a teacher that cares enough to sit down and have a hard conversation. When a peacemaker takes the risk and makes the effort, friendships form that would have never existed before. People can grow and mature in ways that they otherwise would not.
Reconciling the Jews and Gentiles into one person was as miraculous as Jesus rising from the dead. Since Abraham, God’s chosen people have been marked by separation, and the world has been marking itself as separate from them. The majority of the laws in Numbers and Deuteronomy represent the ways that God was taking the Hebrews out of Egypt and the Egypt out of the Hebrews. That separation would mold them into a people dedicated and sanctified to God.
As God’s people dispersed into the entire Roman world, they kept a lot of their culture. They stayed a separated people and stood out in every city to which they migrated. The hostility between their ways and the local climate was often high and contentious, either at the synagogue where curious Gentiles would come to check things out or in the public square as Jewish people had to struggle to fit in a pagan land.
Jesus took away that separation by making the Law unnecessary. Now Jewish people could sit and eat with sinners and not be afraid of becoming ceremonially unclean. Access to God was opened up to people that previously didn’t know Him and weren’t His people. Romans 9:26 talks about this “In the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ there they will be called ’children of the living God.’”
The people that genuinely recognized that the God of Israel was the one true God were no longer rejected. The Peacemaker came and cared enough to spend time and risk His reputation — even His life — to bring together people from every nation to follow Him and know Him. No one is left out. All who call on Him are welcome at the table. It is true peace that He is working inside each of us.
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