Hostility between political parties and people has grown to a nauseous new level. Why can’t we all just get along? On one hand, we should’ve learned this in kindergarten, but kids do grow up and begin to hold onto their own cherished convictions, which end up being at odds with those of others.
At the time of Christ, hatred between Jews and everybody else (Gentiles) had ripened beyond bad. Unfortunately, the Jews had developed quite the snobbery down-look on anyone who wasn’t a Jew, anyone who wasn’t a member of God’s chosen people. It took a Jew named Jesus of Nazareth to suffer hostility in order to kill it – for those who would be reconciled to each other by first being reconciled to God.
In writing to the church in Ephesus, the apostle Paul explained, “For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law with its commands and regulations, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.” (Ephesians 2:14-16).
It was through the cross that Christ killed the hostility between these two groups, but only for those of them who would first be reconciled to God, ending their hostility toward him. The cross of Christ is a vivid illustration of this reconciliation; the vertical beam points to Christ reconciling people to God, and the horizontal beam points to him reconciling people to each other. But one must first embrace the vertical, and then the horizontal will follow. Hatred will no longer be a part of those who have done so.