All Things Converge
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, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility (Ephesians 2:11-22).
There are a lot of compelling ideas sweeping through these verses: inclusion, unity, peace, freedom from the law. Wow! I am dizzy with excitement. Where do I focus my attention? Which theme takes priority?
As I considered this passage, what became super cool is I realized I don’t need to focus on just one of these desirable notions. They are not competing. They all converge in Jesus. HE’s the reason we are now citizens. HE brings us near. HE tears down the wall of hostility dividing groups. HE gives peace. HE offers freedom from rules and the need for perfection. HE joins us to Him and hence unites us to others.
There are so many walls today, so much fear and distrust driving the tensions we feel. There’s division within our minds and hearts. We feel torn between competing interests. There’s division we feel within family, or with strangers, suspicion of immigrants and others who are different from us. Separation from others and community due to Covid-19. This passage offers us another way.
Jesus. Let’s listen to the Scripture in a different version. “Christ brought us together through his death on the cross. The Cross got us to embrace, and that was the end of the hostility. Christ came and preached peace to you outsiders and peace to us insiders. He treated us as equals, and so made us equals” (Ephesians 2:16-18, The Message). Jesus tears down the walls and ends division. All things good converge in Him.
- What division or walls do I sense around me?
- What hostility or lack of peace do I currently feel?
- How can I focus on Jesus as the one to bring reconciliation?
The Greek word for reconcile as it is used in verse 16 is katallasso. Kata means down to an exact point. Allasso means to change. Therefore, we could think about reconcile as meaning to “change down to an exact point” -- to have things narrow down to a singular point. All things converge in Jesus. Jesus is the point.