For He is our peace, the one who has shaped us both to be one (O AMPHOTERAS EN) - the dividing wall erected to divide us so effectively torn down so that the enmity was wiped out in His own human frame abolishing that law with all its considered regulations and judgements in order that, in Himself, He might establish peace by making a new man out of both parties and, by bringing the two together by slaying the antagonism in Himself, in His own body at the cross, and that is why He came to preach peace to you who were far away and to give peace to those who [attending to His voice] were [now] brought near. - Ephesians 2:14-17/transliteration by Bruce C Wearne

Christ on the Cross

PICTURE: Josh Applegate/Unsplash

 

"[Jesus] had laid done His life, and had done so freely, submitting completely to His Father’s will. In His death He was destroying death – whether for Jew or Gentile -  and in His resurrection God was making the new humanity and thus any antagonism between Jew and Gentile was thereby overthrown, slain, once for all." 

The priestly vocation of intercession for the (rebellious) sons of Adam, that Israel had been called to make possible and establish [KATABOLE] within his extended family, is now complete.

The call of Bezalel and Oholiab (in Exodus 31) was in the context of the building of the Tabernacle. Had not Paul's Levitical mentor Barnabas conveyed to Paul that a Roman spear had pierced Jesus' side? The blood of the Messiah had been spilt as an offering - had not the High Priest prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation (John 11:47-53)? But, in fact, the priestly task of spilling the blood was “delegated” illicitly by the Jewish religious leaders to the Roman Gentile occupiers. Instead of acknowledging, as the Governor had said, “There is no guilt in Him”, they insisted instead upon His crucifixion. And Pilate, contrary to his own considered judgement, totally capitulated and cleared the way for the now doubly unjust execution. 

With what then shall Jew and Gentile come before the Lord? With what purity shall a people come to indicate a repentant willingness to abide by God’s precepts? With what public demonstration of wisdom or of mercy shall we come before Him seeking His blessing upon our efforts to promote justice for our neighbours? With what sacrifice can Jew and Gentile now offer as evidence of repentance? What will they offer? What will we offer?

The Messiah of Israel, the one Pilate labelled “King of the Jews”, had suffered gross injustice. The Jewish religious authorities had conspired to have Him executed. His own disciples disowned Him at His hour of greatest need. The Roman authorities capitulated to these manic and fanatical demands and arranged His crucifixion.

But at His resurrection, it became apparent to His disciples and to all who henceforth have believed, that He had done as He had said: He had laid done His life, and had done so freely, submitting completely to His Father’s will. In His death He was destroying death – whether for Jew or Gentile -  and in His resurrection God was making the new humanity and thus any antagonism between Jew and Gentile was thereby overthrown, slain, once for all.