13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
With this verse Paul changed direction, from the desperate situation of lost Gentiles to their hope in Christ.
Now that the Ephesians had received Christ, things were dramatically different. Formerly these believers were pagans, but now they were, by dramatic reversal, saints in Christ Jesus. “But now” shows the contrast between their hopeless past as Gentiles and their present salvation in Christ.
In [in union with] Christ Jesus
Formerly the Ephesians were “separated from Christ” (v. 12), but now they were “in Christ Jesus.” They now belonged to the Lord; they were under new ownership.
ye who sometimes were far off
Gentile Ephesian believers were at one time “far off” from God.
are made nigh [brought near] by the blood of Christ.
Israel as a nation had a sacrificial system to allow fellowship with God. God required sacrifice for sin in order to provide substitution for their sin. Someone had to pay a price for sin. Sacrifice of the Old Testament lamb was a forerunner of the sacrifice of Christ’s blood on the cross for our sins.
Now Ephesian Christians were near God because of the blood of Christ shed on the cross to pay for their sins. The blood of Christ allowed for union with Him. It was the instrument of reconciliation.
Sin separates us from God, but the blood of Christ allows us to fellowship with Him.
A double reconciliation took place at the cross. Jews and Gentiles were united into one body in Christ (the church) and also both groups were united with God. God cannot fellowship with anyone who has not been redeemed by the blood of Christ.