But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 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, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.
Reflect How did Christ Jesus kill the hostility between us and God?
Back in college, before I became a Christian, one of my biggest stumbling blocks was the hypocrisy I saw in certain so-called “followers of Christ.” At times, I couldn’t help feeling that the church was just a building full of angry, finger-pointing people. Where was the hope? Where was the unity in Christ?
Then I became friends with a guy named Scott. Not only did he claim to be a Christian, he did his best to live his faith. Scott was real. He was strong in his convictions—yet he didn’t try to hide his weaknesses. And I never felt judged by him. In fact, the more I spent time with Scott, the more I began to sense the presence of Christ. My friend even led me in prayer the day I committed my life to Jesus.
I’ll always remember one of his first pieces of advice: “Get your eyes off other Christians because they’ll sometimes let you down. Even I’ll disappoint you. Instead, focus on Jesus. Trust Him, follow Him—and do all you can to be like Him.”
Scott taught me that Jesus is our “peace” who destroyed the hostility between us and God (as the apostle Paul wrote in today’s passage). “And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near” (Ephesians 2:17). In Christ, we have salvation. And we are one in Him with other believers.
I took my friend’s advice. Instead of getting angry or giving up, I decided to look for the “Scotts” in my church and do my best to follow what he did—reflect Christ’s face.
Pray Lord, thank You for killing the hostility between God and me and giving me salvation. Help me to be “one in Christ” and in unity with other believers. Amen.
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