Through the Cross

“…and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.” (Eph. 2:16)

What a powerful statement. Enmity put to death. Division erased. The middle wall of partition broken down. Not two different people but one. Not two different people alienated from each other and from God but one people in one body, the body of Christ.

How did Jesus manage this reconciliation? He did it by the cross. Two things are at work here. First, there is the division between Jew and Gentile which is basically wound up in the Tora. The Jews had a messiah covenant, and the Gentiles did not. They were separated by this law. There are many Gentiles today as well as Jews who still want to be under this law. Many still believe that the covenant that created that law is still in effect for the Jews.

What Paul is telling the faithful saints is that the law which divided Jew and Gentile and was impossible to keep which meant both were divided from God has been demolished in the death of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. In verse 13 it was through his blood. In verse 15 it is through his flesh and in verse 16 it is through the cross which embodied both flesh and blood.

Now, what happened on the cross? Paul says that the enmity, the thing dividing Jew and Gentile and Jew from God was the Law. By doing away with the Law, Jesus made it possible for both Jew and Gentile to have access to a new and better covenant (see Hebrews) which would at last join all of God’s people into one nation.

Interesting that some today think that the Jewish nation will be reestablished in Jerusalem so that Jesus can reign over that nation once again. But this passage of scripture makes it plain that the Jewish nation created by the Law is no more. The Jewish nation is now able to join with Gentiles in a new nation in the household of God. The children of the Law were his family. Now the children of faith are his family. The Law is nailed to the cross. It is dead, killed by Jesus in his own death.

The Law needed to be satisfied, and it was in the death of Christ. Now we have one man in Christ. Neither Jew nor Greek nor any other combination of dividers. All people can be one in the one body of Jesus.

The temple was destroyed, and it is still destroyed. It will never be reconstructed. God has a new temple. The faithful saints have been made the temple of God. The Holy Spirit of the Living God lives in the saints, and they are his temple. He does not have a use for one on a hill in Palestine. God’s temple is all over the world, and he dwells in it through his Spirit. (See 1 Cor.)

 

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