15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace,
Verse 15 explains why the enmity between Jew and Gentile came to an end.
15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity,
Jesus “abolished” or rendered inoperative the enmity between Jew and Gentile by the sacrifice of His flesh for our sin. This happened on the cross at one point in time (aorist tense). The phrase “in His flesh” stands in the emphatic position in the Greek. Only the cross could make this happen. Jesus set aside the law by first fulfilling its demands. He abolished the ceremonial law (not the moral law) because it was a type of the prototype. Jesus Himself is the prototype, so we no longer need a type.
that is, the law of commandments contained [consisting] in ordinances [the ceremonial law],
The law was the cause of the enmity between Jew and Gentile. The ceremonial law was the “middle wall of separation” in the previous verse. Christ rendered the law inoperative by fulfilling every demand of the law by His sacrifice for our sin. He abrogated the law.
so as to create in Himself one new man from the two,
Jesus’ death resulted in two effects: (1) creating a “new man” and (2) making peace.
What the Lord does He does “in Himself.” This is our position or status before God forever. We find true unity in Christ. The church is something “new” created by Christ that did not exist before.
The word “new” in the words “new man” carries the idea of new in quality or character, not new in terms of time but in terms of kind. This “new man” is a body, the body of Christ, or the church (v. 16). The church is an entirely new entity from the nation Israel.
The Lord not only reconciled Jew and Gentile but He incorporated them into “one new man,” which is the church.
thus making peace,
Jesus reconciled Jew and Gentile tension by creating the church. Our position “in Christ” is the church universal. This is where the believer finds his or her true identity. We do not find our identity in face, race, or place. The word “making” in the Greek indicates that Jesus is still doing this.
Our identity with Christ is the only source of peace that brings God together with men and men with each other.
Fundamentally, sin is at the root of disharmony because it originates in selfishness. Self-centeredness is divisive. It dislocates relationships. The self seeks pleasure for itself.
James 4: 1 Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? 2 You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.
Peace comes to people who are selfless.