“For he is our peace, who made both groups one and tore down the dividing wall of hostility…He did this so that he might reconcile both to God in one body through the cross by which he put the hostility to death.” (Ephesians 2:14, 16, CSB)
The English word “hostile” describes an enemy and comes from the Latin word for “stranger” or “foreigner.”
Paul is describing two things Jesus did for humanity on the cross. First, the wall of hostility that separated us from God was removed. As we read last week, we were God’s enemies, but now are friends. But there’s something else Jesus did on the cross…described in verse 16. When we reconciled with God, the hostility we have for each other was nailed to the cross as well. You and I were reconciled to God – in one body – together!
I love the quote I read this week: “When rams are following their shepherd and looking to him, their woolies rub each other companionably; but when they look at one another they see only each other’s horns.” (Z. A. Salik)
The problem in our nation is that we only see horns. We see strangers, foreigners, differences. And it brings out our hostility.
Trying to attain a horizontal reconciliation (people to people) isn’t fully possible until we attain a vertical reconciliation (us and God).
Of course, humans will try. We’ll make heroic efforts. But we will fail…because the hostility is still there. Only when we submit ourselves to our Creator will we find that our hostility toward one another has been put to death on the cross.
Join us Sunday and let’s discuss it together!