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Reconciliation through Christ
Ephesians 2:15 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
15 by 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,
This verse explains how Jesus reconciled Jews and Gentiles through His death on the cross. It states that Jesus set aside the law with its commands and regulations in His flesh, which likely refers to the fact that He fulfilled the requirements of the law through His perfect obedience and sacrifice on the cross.
The phrase “one new humanity” suggests that through His death and resurrection, Jesus created a new community of believers that includes both Jews and Gentiles. This new community is united in Christ and reconciled to God through His sacrifice.
The phrase “thus making peace” emphasizes the fact that Jesus reconciled Jews and Gentiles through His death and that this reconciliation is the source of peace between the two groups. It suggests that the hostility and division between Jews and Gentiles have been resolved through the reconciling work of Jesus.
Overall, this verse is a powerful reminder of the reconciling work of Jesus and the fact that it is through His death and resurrection that Jews and Gentiles are able to be reconciled to God and brought together as one people. It is a reminder of the grace and love of God towards believers from all backgrounds and the fact that through faith in Jesus, we can experience this reconciliation and unity.
By abolishing – This phrase refers to the work of Jesus Christ on the cross, where He died to pay the penalty for our sins and thus abolished the power of sin and death in our lives.
The Law of commandments expressed in ordinances – This refers to the Old Testament law that regulated the religious and moral behavior of the Israelites. It was a system of rules and regulations that regulated their relationship with God.
That he might create in himself one new man – This phrase refers to the new relationship that believers have with God through faith in Jesus Christ. We are no longer under the old covenant of the law, but we are now under the new covenant of grace, which is a relationship based on faith and not works.
In place of the two – This phrase refers to the distinction between Jews and Gentiles and how, through Christ, the barrier of hostility between them has been removed, and they are now one in Christ.
So making peace – This phrase refers to the peace between God and humanity that has been made possible through the work of Jesus Christ on the cross. This peace is not only a reconciliation between God and man but also the peace between Jewish and Gentile believers, who were previously divided by the law.
Historical and Cultural Context
In the historical context, this verse was written to a primarily Gentile audience. The Gentiles were not part of the Jewish community and were, therefore, not subject to the same laws and regulations as the Jews. The Jews, on the other hand, had a strong sense of their identity as God’s chosen people and looked down upon the Gentiles as outsiders. This created a barrier of hostility between the two groups.
The cultural context of the time also played a role in the division between Jews and Gentiles. The Jews had a strong adherence to the Mosaic law and the regulations associated with it. This included religious rituals, dietary laws, and other cultural practices. The Gentiles, on the other hand, had their own cultural practices and beliefs.
Ephesians 2:15 addresses this division by stating that Jesus Christ abolished the law of commandments and regulations in his flesh on the cross, making it possible for the Jews and Gentiles to be reconciled to God. Through faith in Jesus Christ, the barrier of hostility between the two groups was removed, and they were made one in Christ. This verse also highlights the new covenant of grace that we are under, which is not based on works but on faith. This message of reconciliation is significant and resonates with the historical and cultural context of the time, and it’s still relevant to this day.