Rabbi’s Reflections – Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Reconciled to God and Each Other – Romans, part 54

Romans 5:10 For if, while we were yet enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved by His life.

Paul almost seems “giddy” as he is writing these verses in Romans 5.  God loved us so perfectly and completely that He “gave His only begotten Son,”   while we were still against Him (His enemies).  Likewise, His resurrected life means our own lives will be resurrected also together with Him.  Paul calls that, “how much more.”

Paul mentions being “reconciled” to God twice, but what does it really mean?  Reconciliation is a word that Paul likes and uses often in his writings.  To be “reconciled” to God means being submitted to Him.  “Submit” means to “place under.”  We place ourselves under His loving command and willingly agree to follow His teachings and examples.  The early believers were not called “Christians,” but “followers of the way.”  His way is the way of truth, righteousness and peace.

Want more good news?  This reconciliation is inclusive of both Jews and Gentiles.  Ephesians 2:16 and to reconcile both (Jews and Gentiles) to God in one body through the cross—by which He put the hostility to death.  This verse on reconciliation is the “meat” of a “shalom” sandwich.  Both the previous verse and the following verse talk of the “shalom” of being included as one with God and each other.

The very next verse underlines this truth… Ephesians 2:18 for through Him we both (Jews and Gentiles) have access to the Father by the same Ruach.  It is all about access.  After the Exodus from Egypt, only the High Priest had access, and then only once a year and only in one place.  Ephesians 2:19 So then you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but you are fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household.  We are “Mamlechet Cohanim,” a “kingdom of priests.” (Exodus 19:6, 1 Peter 2:9)

And at the end of the day, we have to see that all of this reconciliation is not about us, but about the ministry God has given to us through His Son’s death and resurrection.  Our assignment is to spread the good news of this reconciliation.  2 Corinthians 5:18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Messiah and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.  

That “ministry of reconciliation” is the power of the Holy Spirit to be Yeshua’s witnesses.  Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Ruach ha-Kodesh has come upon you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and through all Judah, and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”  These are last words Yeshua spoke before His ascension.  Let’s hold tight to them.  It is the promised fruit of our reconciliation with God and each other.  Shalom shalom.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Wed 29 Mar-2023 7th of Nisan, 5783
Le 8:1-13 Isa 31-32 Ps 23 Ac 22 (Rev 16)