As we prepare for Easter Sunday, we must first give full acknowledgement to Good Friday.
Our verse today from Ephesians doesn’t specifically mention Jesus as “Savior”, but does talk about what He came to do and what He ended up doing.
and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility Ephesians 2:16
Again though we need to back up a little earlier in Ephesians to get the full story:
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 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. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. Ephesians 2:13-18
Not only were we far away, but we were completely separated from God. The two groups of people he is talking about are the Jews and Gentiles, who were not the best of friends, to say the least.
But Jesus “destroyed the barrier and dividing wall of hostility” to reconcile both groups to himself.
Reconcile in the original form comes from the word, “katallassó” which means, “to change or exchange.” The original use for this word has to do with the exchange of money.
Up until this point, I thought that reconcile was more along the means of “to make up for” but now to know that it literally means to change or exchange it gives a whole new meaning.
Jesus gave himself up for us on the cross in exchange for our freedom from sins. He changed out our sinfulness for His holiness.
So to switch out “reconcile” for “change/ exchange” in Ephesians 2:16 reads something like:
His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to exchange both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.
“Here take me instead. Here is my life instead of theirs.”
While this was the message that Paul wanted to highlight about both groups of people being reconciled through Christ, it is still every important today.
For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
Today is Good Friday. Jesus came and died for us, in our place so we can be forgiven and in right standing with God.
I will miss going to church tonight,but I’m so thankful that technology has given us the opportunity to watch church services online, and there are so many to choose from.
No doubt that most services will be very somber, so can’t we skip to Sunday?!
No. Just like you can’t be saved if you don’t know you need saving, you cant fully grasp the weight of the sacrifice until you experience both sides.
sin and freedom.
darkness and light.
death and life.
I challenge you to watch your church online for today’s message. It’s ok to let the weight and heaviness of Jesus on the cross touch you in a way that brings about explainable sorrow and sadness. We will go there together, but we won’t stay there.
What does being “reconciled” mean to you? In what ways/areas do you need to “exchange or change yourself for what God has already given you? ”
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. Romans 5:6-11