Reconciliation through the Cross

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 both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.

Ephesians 2:13-18

The cross of Calvary has a much broader meaning, in terms of reconciliation, than we generally think. Christians understand that, thanks to the cross, there was a bridge that reconciled humanity with God; but that does not stop there. Before the cross, only the people of Israel knew the true God. The Gentile peoples were pagans and did not know the God of Israel. The cross did what the Law could not do; to remove sin through the Lamb of God, and for them as well as for those who did not live under the Law, gave them grace.

Although many have used the cross for centuries as a frontier between the people of Israel and the Gentile peoples who have accepted Christ, it is certainly not the purpose of God. On one side and the other there has been enmity, the very opposite of God’s plan to establish a reconciliation between Jews and Gentiles by means of the cross of Calvary. In His conversation with the Samaritan woman, Jesus told her what is written in John 4:22, You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews.

The Samaritans were considered by the Jews as a separate people from them even though they lived on the same land. By contact between Jews and Samaritans, the latter had some knowledge of the God of Israel and worshiped him; but, as Jesus said, they worshiped what they did not know, while the Jews knew the God they worshiped. John 1:17 explains why the Jews knew first-hand the God they worshiped, For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

Moses, who led the people of Israel from Egypt on their way to the Promised Land, received the tablets of the Law from God Himself. In this way the people chosen by God had the knowledge of the rules that govern their relationship with God. But God’s plan was far greater than just giving His Law to the people of Israel. God Himself wanted to manifest Himself among His people through His Son. In John 1:11 we read, He came to His own, and His own[b] did not receive Him.

The majority rejection of the Son of God by the people of Israel opened the doors for the Gentiles to know the true God. And as Jesus says very well in John 4:22: salvation is of the Jews. The true God, the one who worshiped Christians, the God of our salvation, is the God of Israel, the God of Isaac, the God of Abraham, and the God of the Jews. And the same Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was a Jew in the flesh and it was on the cross that He reconciled the Gentile people to the chosen people of God, since He died for the redemption of all Jews and Gentiles. It is the same God for Jews and Christians. God bless you.

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