“For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace,. . . “ (Ephesians 2:14-15, ESV)
In Ephesians, Paul addressed a group composed of Gentile believers. He reminded them that at one time, they were all excluded from God’s Kingdom. They had no hope of eternal life, no hope of reconciliation with the Father, of being included in God’s Kingdom. This separation is represented by the wall in the Temple that separated the Court of the Gentiles from the main Temple area. This wall kept Gentiles out of the inner courts especially the Holy of Holies where God dwelt. This wall barred them from full participation in the blessings of God’s covenant.
But the wall also represented those external characteristics that separated the Jews from everyone else; those things that they felt showed that they were superior to all other human beings: their ceremonial law, the rules and regulations for sacrifices, feasts, circumcision, diet, and ritual cleanness and uncleanness in personal and social life. These regulations reminded the Jews of their favored status as God’s chosen people, that they were set them apart from the rest of humanity and unto God. And so, the Jews alone were the only ones who had access to the promises of God, the sole beneficiaries of His covenant.
But then Jesus came. Jesus gives us peace with God but He Himself is that peace. If we are in Him, we are united with God regardless of our national, ethnic, racial or even religious roots and origin. If we are now in Christ, we have this peace with God. Those who are not in Christ, those who have rejected His offer of faith and mercy, they do not have such peace. This is because only Jesus broke down the wall of hostility and separation from God with the sacrifice of His life and blood, thereby reconciling us to God the Father Almighty.