This past Sunday our lesson focused on Ephesians 2:1-10. After telling the Ephesians that "in Christ" we have access to every spiritual blessing, Paul takes a step back to show the Ephesians two proofs that are equally important proofs of Christ's power and that He is Lord.
In the first half of chapter two Paul tells the Ephesians who they once were. That they were dead their sins and transgressions, that they were disobedient, following the ways of the flesh, following Satan, children of wrath without hope. This would be a sad state for humanity if it wasn't for what Paul says next, "But God. God through Christ, by sending Christ to die on a cross, we become spiritually alive and seated in the heavenly realm with Christ. We were once dead and it is through the power of Christ going to the cross that we are made spiritually alive and able to live as children of God through spiritual rebirth and adoption into God's family. Proof one that Jesus is powerful, Jesus makes dead people come to life, not only physically but spiritually.
On my first short mission trip to Louisiana after hurricane Katrina, as a group we went out to a Chinese restaurant one night. Some of our group during the first couple days of work weren't getting along with one another, so one of the matriarchs of our group, decided we needed a night together that included dinner. At this Chinese restaurant this same matriarch ordered the Happy Family Stir Fry, and announced that she had ordered this dish because, "We are one big happy family here." This brings me to the second proof that Paul gives for why Jesus is all powerful and the Lord of all.
In the second half of Ephesians Two Paul speaks to how through Christ, Peace of God becomes a reality between not only God an man, but also between man and man. This peace reconciles the Jews and gentiles into one body, by putting to death the enmity. That through Christ both Jews and gentiles now have access to God through one Spirit.
Looking at the original context, Jews and gentiles did not get along very well. Jews were the people of God, having access to God, Having citizenship as God's people, having covenants of their forefathers, and having the hope of the coming Messiah. This caused enmity because these were all things that gentiles did not have, and at the end of the day they were without God and without hope. Gentiles were separated from God, His blessings, and were alienated. Many Jews did not want their position with God to change, But God...
The second proof that Jesus is powerful and Lord of all, is looking at how Jesus makes peace between these very different factions of humanity by creating one new man through Himself. In Christ there is just one type of individual, a Christian. While many Jews struggled with this oneness, the division was always only meant to be temporary, because their was always just one promise, and that promise was that as we read in genesis 12, "all peoples on earth," will be blessed through Abraham. This would be actualized through Christ. Through the cross, Jesus broke down the barrier, and now all humanity would have access to God, and have a confident hope.
God has brought peace to all people through His Son, we are called to a unity of spirit with one another. Jesus is our peace and works through us to bring peace on Earth between men. It is up to us to join the Prince of Peace in bringing the message of peace, a peace that reaches out to others beyond any statuses, race, or personality, making us one people, an one church. Not only does Jesus display his Power as Lord of all by bringing the dead to life, but by also uniting those of many differences under one Lord.