10th October 2019

The Wall of Hostility

“For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility,”
Ephesians 2:14 (NIV)

In Jerusalem in 1871 a block of limestone was discovered with the following notice engraved on it: ‘No stranger is to enter within the balustrade around the temple and enclosure:whoever is caught will be responsible to himself for his death, which will ensue.’

This balustrade was the ‘wall of hostility’ Paul was referring to in the above verse. It was between four and five feet high, and no Gentile (non-Jew) was allowed to cross it on pain of death. It was low enough that they could look over it and see Gods sanctuary from a distance, but they couldn’t approach it. Only Jews could do that. Paul says that in Jesus this wall has been metaphorically demolished. As someone with one Jewish and one non-Jewish parent, I’m delighted.

Straddling any wall is an uncomfortable position. As it is I am half Jewish and half Gentile, but all Christian, and that’s what counts! In Christ we are all one, no matter what our race, culture, gender or colour. No one is superior to any other person on any count. The world has that lesson still to learn.

Jesus’ perfect life, and death on the cross fulfilled the Law that had separated Jew and Gentile. He died for the sins of the whole world, not just the sins of the Jews (1 John 2:2). Since that time both Jews and non-Jews can approach the sanctuary, indeed not just approach, but enter into the true sanctuary through and with Jesus Christ.

What a shame that people, even whole nations, see others as inferior. Racism is a curse of humanity. If only people could realise that to be named a son or daughter of the Most High God is the greatest privilege any living being could have. Not only that, but Christ is the heir to all things and we are joint-heirs with Him (Romans 8:17). Should be enough for everyone then! Why seek to ‘lord’ it over others? Thankfully our loving God is reaching out to both Jew and Gentile with this knowledge and a call to believe. Let’s join Him in His work of mercy and salvation.

Prayer
Father, we so look forward to the day when people everywhere will comprehend the reconciliation that Jesus accomplished on the Cross. Surely in that Great Day bigotry will die.
Amen

Study by Doug Bass
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About the Author:
Doug Bass is a member of Grace Communion International.

Local Congregation:
Gracecom Coulsdon
Coulsdon Community Church
Coulsdon Community Centre
Barrie Close
Chipstead Valley Road
COULSDON
CR5 3BE

Meeting Time:
Sunday 11am

Local Congregational Contact:
Brian Smith
Phone: 01243-699812
Email: coulsdon@gracecom.church

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