The intensely bleak picture of a world cut off from God and bitterly divided between itself is one reversed and transformed in and through Jesus Christ. The Great Reversal is a term that has been applied to the work of Jesus Christ on the cross by a number of theologians. Jesus overturned death through his resurrection. He overcame the consequence of sin by taking the wrath of God for our sin upon himself through his death on the cross for those who trust in him. It is Jesus and Jesus alone who did this leaving no room for anyone else to claim the credit and superiority. Through his death he has, “broken down the wall of hostility”. v14 Firstly the wall between mankind and God has been removed. When Paul wrote to the Ephesians he was addressing primarily a Gentile church reminding them that they were once alienated from God, not part of the original people of God, and followers of false gods. There was no room for pride and self-justification. It is the place shared by all Gentile Christians now. BUT, and it is a but to be written in huge capital letters, “now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” v13 His death is our only means of breaking down the barrier between ourselves and God or in other terms of being able to draw near to God. However, it is the same situation for the “commonwealth of Israel”. By Christ’s death he has abolished or swept away the Old Testament “law of commandments expressed in ordinances.” v15 (The Mosaic law)
Not only has Jesus through his death broken the wall of hostility between mankind and God, he has also removed the wall between Jews and Gentiles to create one people of God. “That he might create in himself one new man in the place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.” It is therefore God’s will that there should not be hostility amongst his people. They should be distinctively at peace with one another by meeting humbly at the cross. Division caused by pride is a denial of the cross.