Wednesday - February 9th
Scripture to Read Today: Ephesians 2:11-22
For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace.
In 1987 Mathias Rust, a West German 18-year-old who had only just learned to fly, piloted a Cessna to Moscow and landed on a bridge next to the Kremlin. He said he was trying to build an "imaginary bridge" for peace. But, of course, the young man's stunt caused the opposite of peace. Tensions between the Soviet Block nations and NATO skyrocketed due to the incident.
As a result of the security breach, Soviet leadership fired the Head of Defense and hundreds of other military officers. Diplomatic tensions lasted for several months. Mathias failed as a bridge for peace - as well-intentioned as his actions may have been.
One act to secure peace in our divided world succeeded wonderfully. When Jesus came to walk among us and give His life on the cross, He secured peace for each of us with God. Our faith in Christ gives us access to that forgiving peace now and forever. Christ came through the lineage of Abraham. God had chosen this man to be the father of a great nation through whom the Messiah (and Savior of the world) would be sent. These people, the Nation of Israel, would be in the crosshairs of Satan's attack. He wanted to thwart God's plan of redemption.
God set Israel apart from all other nations - so Israel could be the means by which the Messiah would come. Tensions existed for centuries between this blessed and protected group of people and the other nations - the gentiles. Paul described what the work of Christ completed to remove this divide between the Jews and Gentiles. "He himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility" (Ephesians 2:14).
Ephesians 2:11-22 emphasizes how the great divide between Jew and Gentile is gone. The wall is down. The barrier is gone. We are all one in Christ through His death, burial, and resurrection. We all share in the same saving grace.
Since that great wall has been removed between Jew and Gentile, Paul teaches that we are all one in Christ. Whether black or white, poor or rich, male or female, young or old or whatever distinction, we are all one in Christ when we know Him as our Savior. Maybe you have biases against others because the group or demographic they fit is not the same as yours. Let God remind you today that all who are in Christ are one in Him. He is our peace! How beautiful is that!
Ask God to help you see every Christ-follower as one with you in Him. Ask him to remove any bias or prejudice, or judgment you might hold because they fit a different people group than you do. Celebrate the peace we have in Christ together!
No matter who we are or our background, when we know Jesus as our Savior, we are all one in Him!