Ephesians 2:16 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Ephesians 2:16, NIV: and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.

Ephesians 2:16, ESV: and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.

Ephesians 2:16, KJV: And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

Ephesians 2:16, NASB: and that He might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the hostility.

Ephesians 2:16, NLT: Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death.

Ephesians 2:16, CSB: He did this so that he might reconcile both to God in one body through the cross by which he put the hostility to death.

What does Ephesians 2:16 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The peace Christ brings to believers includes unity, as members of a single "body" of the church. This unity is interestingly exemplified using a symbol of death: the cross. Though Paul frequently mentions the sacrifice of Jesus in Ephesians, this is the only place the cross is specifically mentioned. He uses it to highlight his next phrase, where he notes that Jesus' crucifixion resulted in the end of the spiritual hostility between Jews and Gentiles. More importantly, it removed the spiritual obstruction between man and God. The connection of "cross" and "kill" is clear. Christ's cross—an instrument of execution—killed these spiritual barriers.

Both Jews and Gentiles were responsible for sending Jesus to the cross. Similarly, both Jews and Gentiles could benefit from the payment Jesus made on the cross. Through Christ, Jew and Gentile had equal access to salvation through faith in Jesus, becoming part of one family of God. Paul would teach in 1 Corinthians 1:18, "For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." The cross does not make sense to unbelievers, but to the saved it represents God's power to change lives.