14For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15by 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, 16and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.
Caution: May cause drowsiness.
Many medications come with warnings about possible side-effects. While the main purpose of a drug might be to relieve a headache or some other problem, in some people it also has other effects. Sometimes these are positive but usually negative.
Jesus is our peace. He has made us both one. Who is the both, and how are we one? I believe the both are the circumcised (Jews) and the uncircumcised (Gentiles). The dividing wall of hostility was the law. The Jews had it, the Gentiles didn't. Because of the law, the Jews could not even associate with the Gentiles. They were unclean. Christ's death on the cross did away with the law.
If the law could have given us righteousness, it would have remained in effect, and there would have been no need for Jesus to die on the cross. But the purpose of the law was to show us our unrighteousness. So we needed a remedy, which Jesus provided on the cross. His main purpose, I believe, was to glorify God by providing the perfect sacrifice for our sins. But there were also side-effects. As a result of His death, the law was done away with, the dividing wall of hostility between Jew and Gentile destroyed. (Gal 3:28)
I imagine this was a tough one for the Jews. It required a radical shift in their thoughts. But to embrace this was to embrace the world. It was as if God had opened for them a door that had been shut for centuries. Maybe that was a scary door to open. But Jesus did it. He got rid of the reason for the hostility.
I think this is one that we need to apply more broadly today. As we look at others in our world who are different. Could be drug-addicts, Muslims, racial or gender issues, but Christ has broken down the dividing wall an calls us to reach out to all. What are the side-effects the cross has had on you?