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 2:14-16
Christ is our peace, and he has re-created a new humanity.
Jesus destroyed the barrier that separated groups of people from each other and from God. He is our PEACE. He destroyed the symbol that represented graphically the barrier between Gentiles and Jews in the temple—the wall that did not allow people to become one before God, the wall that made some think they were better than others. God brought down the divide between peoples, and for the Ephesians this spiritual reality expressed through their lives must have been scandalous. Jews and Gentiles were made one. And, slaves, merchants, women, men, rich, and poor were no more defined by their political or economic status. This peace was to be lived out in how the community loved and related to each other.
Because I live in a border region, divided by a huge wall, Paul’s words evoke many images for me. Living in the reality of Christ’s peace on the US/México border constantly reminds me that walls will one day be brought down. But for today, the peace, life, and reconciliation we have in Christ should become evident in the ways people love and care for one another, even those whom the world has erected walls to keep them apart. As followers of Christ, we have no excuse for our indifference, regardless of walls or other symbolic divisions among peoples.
God, through Christ, has dethroned the powers that caused hostility and division, and through his Spirit empowers us to live in peace, reconciliation, and unity. This is the gospel. This is the good news. God, through Christ has showed us that real power is used for life, for peace, and for restoration, and living like that is a sign of the gospel and the kingdom.
May we live in the peace of Christ, that brings reconciliation and unity through the gospel. May we see the walls and everything that divides us from others who are different, and may we receive the grace to put down our power to oppress, divide and destroy, in order to build in God’s peace, life and love.
Alejandra Ortiz lives in Tijuana, México, with her husband, Abdiel, and their two daughters. They have deep-knit connections with family and friends on both sides of the Tijuana/San Diego border. Alejandra works for the International Fellowship for Evangelical Students (IFES) in a project that fosters dialogue between the Sciences and the Faith. She participates in a church that serves as a shelter for migrants and refugees in Tijuana.