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Ephesians 2:13: Brought Near

Ephesians 2:13
[13] But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. (ESV)

Do you know what it feels like to be an outcast?  I remember growing up and having very thick glasses.  Every day of school I was called "four eyes."  I also did not wear the latest fashions.  At that time all the kids that were cool wore Levi's jeans and Nike leather basketball sneakers.  I wore whatever hand-me-down jeans or K-Mart brand jeans I was given.  I was never part of the "cool" crowd.  In the school yard, I wanted to play football.  I was always picked last.  I was the one that a team got stuck with. I would have wished that someone would have stepped up and said, "Hey, Kevin is just as cool as us.  Let's hang with him."  It never happened.

Now, my being excluded was unpleasant at the time, but not the end of the world.  The exclusion that the Gentiles experienced was a matter of life and death.  As we looked at in verses 11 and 12, they were without God and without hope!  Someone needed to reach out to them and make a way possible for them to be part of God's Kingdom.  That someone came.  His name is Jesus.  Paul tells the Ephesians in our verse today, "But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ."  We do not fully appreciate just how amazing that truth was for the first century Ephesian Christians.

A sacrifice had to be made.  For mankind to be brought near, including the Gentiles, Jesus had to sacrifice his perfect life blood for man's sin.  He was willing.  He reached out.  There is no need for us to be outcasts any longer. We are not good enough. We are not righteous like Jesus is.  We are not holy.  But, he forgives our sin, and gives us his holiness.

I want to go back talking about clothes again for just a moment.  Clothes were such a big deal to me as a teenager.  I did not have the clothes that made me cool. I could not afford them.  Someone would have had to give me clothes for me to appear cool.  Do you realize that as Christians we are given new "clothing" to wear?  Take a look at this passage in Revelation.  And think about your new clothes.

Revelation 7:9–10
[9] After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, [10] and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (ESV)

Do you know what it feels like to be an outcast?  Separated from God?  Praise him today that you have been given salvation.  Thank him for giving you the clothing of his righteousness.  Prepare to meet him with all the saints, clothed in white robes.  Thank Jesus today for reaching out to us so that we could be brought near to him.