Brought near by the blood of Christ!
Scripture reading for February 3rd: Exodus 10-12, Ephesians 2
Ephesians 2:11-16 “Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands–remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the common-wealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, Who has made us both one and has broken down in His flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that He might create in Himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.”
Life in this world is bound up by spiritual conflict and hostility between two spiritual forces. The forces of darkness under Satan are out to kill, steal, and destroy the forces of God and those who walk by faith in Him. Paul told the Ephesians, that we were all once living in the darkness of sin and were without God and without hope. But through God’s mercy, He sent Jesus Christ to shed His blood on the cross and make payment for sins, sparing us from the death and judgment on those in darkness under Satan. Christ’s blood reconciles us to God and to other believers–Jew and Gentile, and breaks down the walls of hostility because we are now all made one in Christ Jesus. As the blood of a lamb protected the Israelites, it also brought them closer to God and His presence led them out of the hostility in Egypt.
Exodus 12:12-13 “For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the Lord. The blood shall be a sign for you, on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.”
Prayer: Father God, I am thankful for the peace I have in Jesus Christ. I am aware of the spiritual conflict in the world between the forces of Satan and those blinded by him and Your people. I cling by faith to the blood shed by Christ Jesus on my behalf to reconcile me to God and unite me with all believers, Jew and Gentile, in one body–the Church. Have mercy on those caught in hostility of this spiritual conflict.
Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”