14For He Himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 1 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, 16and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which He put to death their hostility.. (Ephesians 2:14-16, NIV)
When you hear the word “peace,” what comes to mind? How would you define “peace”? You might think of the ceasing of conflict after war. Or you might remember times when your soul felt calm and secure. But we would probably not talk about peace as a person.
Unless, of course, you are deeply influenced by Ephesians 2:14. This verse begins with a bold proclamation: “For He Himself is our peace.” In context, of course, the “He” is Christ, whose blood brought the Gentiles near to God and God’s people (Ephesians 2:13).
What does it mean for Christ to be our peace? When we hear this, we may be inclined to think of “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, [and which] will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7). But, in fact, the peace of Ephesians 2:14 is not this kind of inner peace. When we read this verse in context, we see that peace has to do with ending the hostility between Jews and Gentiles and forging a new relationship of unity in Christ. Christ is our peace in the sense that He and He alone can mend the broken, hostile relationship between Jews and Gentiles, and, by implication, between all enemies.
In our world today, we are in desperate need of this kind of peace. In the United States, we are seeing in a new way just how much our society is divided by race and class. We recognize the need for genuine peace, which is so much more everyone getting along. Rather, the true peace of God embodies God’s justice and mercy.
If we want to be people of pervasive peace, if we desire to know the peace of God that passes understanding, if we want to experience the end of hostile injustice, if we want to be peacemakers in our part of the world, then we need Jesus Christ. He is, indeed, our peace. Not only will He give us the gift of peace, but He will also use us to infuse His peace into our world.
As you think about your life, where do you see a need for the peace of Christ that erases hostility and brings people together in unity? How might you be an agent of Christ’s peace in your relationships at work? At home? In your church? In your community and beyond?
Ask the Lord where you might be an agent of His peace. As God guides you, be a peacemaker, whether at work, at home or in your community.
Let Christ, who is our peace, make peace through you.