Ephesians 2 v 13 - 18

Just as when Christ died, the curtain in the Temple which divided the Holy of Holies from the other areas was ripped in two, so His death also brought down the barriers between those who were close to God, the Jews, and those who were a long way off, everyone else. The Gentile could only enter the Temple to the first partition, any further and he would be killed; women could enter to the second partition. This is similar to access to the wailing wall today. Fi and I observed on our visit to Israel that the large area of the remaining wall was only accessible by practising Jews and the much smaller part was open to women and non-Jews. Inevitably, this area was very crowded, whereas the larger was not. Remember that in the book of Acts it is recorded that Paul's arrest in Jerusalem which led to his final imprisonment and probably, his death too, was because he had been wrongly accused of bringing Trophimus, an Ephesian Gentile, into the Temple beyond the first barrier (Acts 21 v 26-36). For us today, there are 2 main points to challenge and encourage us: 1. Christ has done it all! The Godhead has done all that is necessary to open up the path between humankind and God. We were hopeless, helpless, incapable; God did it all out of sacrificial love for us: ''Greater love hath no man than he give up his life for his friends''. 2. It is hard to find a modern UK equivalent to the Jew/Gentile divide. The hatred of Jew for Gentile is clear in this pronouncement by a leading Rabbi: ''The Gentiles were created to stoke the fires of hell''! For us, it is anyone we might struggle to accept...the transvestite, the prostitute, the paedophile..how easy would it be to accept them into regular attendance at Bearfield?

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