Christ is Our Peace


“And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near” (Ephesians 2:17).

This statement recalls the words of Isaiah 57:14-19. In that passage the Lord’s message through the prophet was about God’s condescending love toward his people. It was a message about the loving concern of the high and exalted God, the holy one, toward those who are lowly and contrite of heart. It spoke of his promise to remove obstacles, to heal, and to restore comfort to those who mourn for their sins. “Peace, peace to the far and to the near” (Isa. 57:19).

In Ephesians 2, the apostle Paul discusses the salvation that has been brought about by the cross of Christ. Those who were once dead in sin but have come to Christ in faith have been made “alive together in Christ” (vv. 4-5). Paul summarizes the first section of the chapter with the statement that, because of what God has accomplished through Christ, “we are God’s workmanship” (v. 10). Salvation is the gift of God.

The cross of Christ also removes other barriers. Paul reminds his readers, most of whom were Gentile Christians, of their prior state of alienation and hopelessness. They were formerly “strangers to the covenants of promise” that had provided the Jewish people the opportunity for a relationship with God (v. 12). Hostility had existed between the two groups of humanity for generations. That all changed with Christ. “But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ” (v. 13).

The change was brought about by the cross of Christ. “He himself is our peace” (v. 14). That is to say that Christ not only brought peace, he himself is our peace. He removed the alienation by removing the Law that had been a barrier. By his death on the cross, Christ not only provided the remedy for sin and the separation it caused. He also provided for the reconciliation of those alienated from one another into one body. He made them into “one new man, thus establishing peace” (vv. 14-16).

God’s plan from the beginning was for the one gospel to be preached to all people, regardless of barriers that once separated one group from another. The result is that in the church, “there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28).

Peace between formerly estranged people is but a byproduct of making peace with God. The New Testament speaks of the need for us all to be reconciled with God. Through the cross of Christ, our sins can be forgiven. “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life” (Rom. 5:10). The “word of reconciliation” and its appeal to mankind to be reconciled to the Creator is the essence of the gospel and of the ministry of preaching (2 Cor. 5:18-20).

It's the good news. Jesus Christ is our peace.

Dan Petty