Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands) — remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 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.
The Old Testament gives us our first hints that a Savior is coming to the world. Among those hints is the first portion of Isaiah chapter nine, which is often quoted around this time of year — and for good reason! It tells us a lot of great things about this Child that was to come. In Isaiah 9:6, Isaiah calls this Savior “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father,” and “Prince of Peace.”
Obviously, all of those titles mean something: they tell us about who Jesus is and why He came down to Earth, and it’s in the book of Ephesians that we see what it means that Jesus is our Prince of Peace. Ephesians was originally a letter written by Paul to the churches in and around Ephesus, and it appears that in this letter, Paul was seeking to educate believers in a period during which the Church was still in its infancy.
In the passage above, Paul is writing to Gentile believers: those who trusted in Christ as Lord and Savior, but who were not part of Jewish culture, religion, or community. He reminds the Gentiles that they were once separated from all of that, but also separated from God because of their sin and iniquity. But, through Christ, they are brought near to God, as well as to their fellow believers — Jesus makes “the two groups one,” tearing down any wall between Jew and Gentile.
Even today, Jesus is in the business of drawing people toward God. In Christ, our sin is forgiven, and we no longer have to walk through life as slaves to our sinful natures. Not only that, but through the power of the Holy Spirit, we can take on the image of Christ, allowing ourselves to enjoy a deeper relationship with God the Father and each other.
Jesus also breaks down the barriers we may have against our brothers and sisters in faith. Christ has drawn us all into a family, and in Him, there is no division between believers based on race, cultures, experiences, backgrounds, or views. Christ brings us into a new relationship with one another, and reconciles us all, as one people, to God the Father through the cross.
Peace is a Person, and His name is Jesus. He came not only to bring us back to our Father, but to draw us into a family of believ- ers, and has gone before those who trust in Him to prepare a place for us, so that we may dwell forever with God and one other.
Father, remind us today of the peace we have in Your Son, Jesus. Remind us that He was born to die, but in His death and resurrection, we were given new life and new hope. We thank You that peace is not a fleeting emotion or a momentary state, but a Person who came to restore our relationships with You and one another. Amen.