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At that time, but now, and consequently -- Ephesians 2: 11-22 by Pastor Youngjae Jee

posted Oct 23, 2015, 10:23 AM by Bowmansville UMC

Jesus said on the cross at his final moment, “It is finished.” (John 19:30)  When Jesus said it, he meant it exactly as he said.  There is nothing that needs to be added.  It is sufficient.  God’s grace is always sufficient. 

Then what was done?  We thought about a story last month.  Jesus is like a tree that can get rid of our own shadows.  The shadow of the tree covers up my shadow.  His death covers up my death.  “The wage of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23)  “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Cor. 5:21) He became atonement for us.

                His atonement was not for a portion of people but for all the people.  So whoever wants him can get the benefit from him.  There is no discrimination.  He destroyed the law with commandments and regulations so that no one would be discriminated or alienated. (Eph. 2:15)  That does not mean that he abolished all the law so that people are allowed to do whatever they want to do.  No.  Jesus kept the true essence of the law but abolished the ceremonial or superficial regulations that created discrimination.

Thus, what he did on the cross is that he paid the price of sins for all of us and so the reconciliation between God and us is made, and he destroyed the barrier between people.  As a result he brought us peace we can take, because he himself is our peace. (Eph. 2:14)  Reconciliation between people is made.  There would be no wall between people. There would be no barrier between them.  “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:1-2) 

These are what Jesus accomplished on the cross: reconciliation between God and people and between people themselves.  Then why isn’t there peace already?  Why are there still condemnations, hates, discrimination, disputes, and wars between people?  The answer is very simple.  For, not all of us take what has been done on the cross.  Only through faith in him you can take it.   Solar fide! 

                It is accomplished completely but not accepted completely yet.  In order to be accepted by people, Jesus preached people to people who are far way and near.  Jesus also commanded his apostles and disciples to preach peace he accomplished.  And He is still preaching though many people who follow him to make others become to be ones who are in peace.

Does that make sense we hate and discriminate with one another and say that we believe in Jesus?  What would people in the world feel about that?  If you truly believe what Jesus has done on the cross then you cannot hate or discriminate with one another.  If you believe in Jesus, you are being connected with Jesus, the chief cornerstone of the church, and so become his holy temple.

                “At one time” (Eph.2:12) we were separated from Christ, alienated from God and from his people Israel.  “But now” (Eph. 2:13) we are in Christ Jesus so that there is no alienation but reconciliation.  “Consequently” (Eph. 2:19) you become a holy temple, a dwelling in which God lives by his spirit. (Eph. 2:21-22)

Do not just go to church, but make peace with God and with all other people in Christ Jesus!  Amen.