Water for the Thirsty
Weekly Devotional

Water for the Thirsty

Break Dividing Walls

Weekly Devotional

‘As the deer pants for streams of water so my soul pants for you, O God’. (Psalm 42:1)
‘…Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink”…’ (John 7:37)

The Jewish temple was surrounded by courts that formed layers of separation from the inner Holy of Holies. The innermost court was the Court of the Priests who constantly attended the daily sacrifices and led in the worship of the LORD. Next was the Court of Israel into which only Jewish men could enter and worship. After this was the Court of the Women, indicating, that Jewish women could go no further into the temple. The outer perimeter was the Court of the Gentiles with a five-foot barricade that went around the entire temple enclosure. At intervals on the wall separating the Jews from the Gentiles were inscriptions warning that no non-Jewish persons were ever permitted to enter the Jewish enclosure upon the punishment of death. These acted as great “No entry: Trespassers will be killed” signs. In fact, the apostle Paul almost got himself killed in the temple because of false rumours that he took a Gentile into the sacred area (Acts 21:27-31). But, the good news is, that on the cross Jesus tore down the wall.

‘Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth…were…excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit’. (Ephesians 2:11-18)

The sin barrier between God and man was removed by the death of Christ and as a result man is reconnected to God. Jesus provided the only way that man can approach God, effectively removing the dividing walls. It is through Christ Jesus that both Jew and Gentile have access in one Spirit to the Father with the result,

‘…you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household’ (V.19)

The cause of the perpetual hostility has been removed. Sin was dealt with at the cross. The enmity has been so completely laid aside that complete friendship follows. Christ has accomplished reconciliation, and we are at peace with God.

The wall was torn down with the thick veil in the temple that kept everyone out of his holy presence. The only exception was the high priest on the Day of Atonement, and then only on that one day of the year. The veil was torn from top to bottom and we can all enter into God’s holy presence through the blood of his Son.

In addition, because our fellowship with God was restored by the death of Christ the fellowship between Jew and Gentile has also been restored if they are in Christ. Real peace between individuals will only come as they are reconciled to God through Jesus Christ. Sin brought about hostility, but Jesus removed that hostility.

Now, since the greater wall has been completely removed there is no need for the lesser walls of separation. They came down with the wall that separated us from God. If God, in Christ, has torn away the wall of separation between him and us there can never be a wall that separates others in Christ from us. In fact, the great truth of the passage is we are all members of the one body of Christ (V.16).

As Paul says in Galatians 3:26-28,

‘You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus’ (Galatians 3:26-28).

Is there a dividing wall between you and another member of God’s family? There shouldn’t be if you are both in Christ. Let’s commit to breaking any dividing walls that exist between us. As David Ruis’ song ‘Break Dividing Walls’ says,

There is a place of commanded blessing
Where brethren in unity dwell
A place where anointing oil is flowing
And we live as one

We will break dividing walls
We will break dividing walls
We will break dividing walls in the name of your Son
We will break dividing walls
We will break dividing walls and we will be one

You have called us to be a body
You have called us as friends
Joined together in the bond of the Spirit
Unto the end

Father we join with the prayer of Jesus
As you are so let us be one
Joined together in unity and purpose
All for the love of your son

Have a good week breaking dividing walls.

Pastor Barry

11th October 2009

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