Last Sunday at MCC we talked about what it means to be part of the Church. There were three specific images/metaphors we looked at, two of which were pretty familiar:
the Bride of Christ.
the Body of Christ.
and one may not be so familiar:
the one new humanity.
This idea of a “new humanity” comes from Ephesians 2, where the writer is reflecting on Jesus’ death on the cross. The assumption [which is true] that most people have is that Jesus died to make peace between God and us. And he did.
But if we stop there, we miss the full weight of the cross.
Jesus died to make peace between you and me.
“14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 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, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.” [Ephesians 2v14-16 TNIV]
Jesus died to tear down the walls that we build up…not just between God and us…but the ones we build to separate ourselves from each other.
The Church is about the “new humanity.” It’s about a group of people who have their differences…yet they come together around the cross and resurrection of Jesus.
In Jesus Wants to Save Christians, Rob Bell says about the “new humanity”:
“People who previously had nothing in common discover that the only thing they now have in common is the one thing that matters.”
Church is a place where the political, social, economic, racial, and any other way we carve ourselves up from others, is rendered void.
Jesus has brought us together.
So, if you are part of a church, then you can’t really talk about us and them…or those people…because you are getting to know one of “them”…you are joining “those people” to advance the Kingdom and change history.
So, are you a part of the “new humanity”? What does it mean to you?