A devotional thought from Joey Jernigan for “The Atonement-Driven Life”
Read: Ephesians 2:11-22
Enemies. This one word describes our relationship to God apart from Jesus. While you and I have seen people who are glad to declare themselves enemies of God—think of the “new atheists” like Richard Dawkins—most people would never consider themselves in open rebellion against Him. In fact, most people would probably consider God as a friend, or at worst, an acquaintance. But the truth is that sin serves as a barrier between us and God, and it makes peace with God impossible. This is a problem if for no other reason than God is the infinitely more powerful Being in this battle!
In our sinful state we refuse and are in fact incapable of making peace with God, so He did the unthinkable—He offered peace. He was the guaranteed victor, yet He gave His Son as a sacrifice for sin. The blood of Jesus transcends all barriers that separated us from God and one another. Jesus became our peace, and more than that He became the means of friendship with God. Those of us who believe in Jesus have not simply agreed to a ceasefire, we have agreed to accept the terms of peace. The hostility that divided us was swallowed up in the death of Christ.
We are no longer warmongers seeking to destroy the kingdom of God. We are the former rebels who have been given citizenship. The King has offered liberty to the captives enslaved in the kingdom of darkness, and He has invited us into His very family, the church. None of us deserve such treatment, but God in His kindness has made the way of escape a Person, not a plan. This freedom does not come by giving up everything, for we have nothing to give but our sin. It only comes by grasping hold of Jesus and receiving all that He is in exchange for all that we will never be.
Pause and Reflect:
• What has caused the hostility between us and God?
• Why is it important that God had to make the offer of peace?