But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ (Eph. 2:13).

“Far away…” What does that mean? How far is far away? When we stand outside and look at the Amatola Mountains, they seem far away.  This is not the kind of “far away” to which Paul is referring. He is talking about another kind of “far away”. Not far away in kilometres but far away in fellowship.

You know what it feels like to be in the same room with someone you love but at the same time to be far away because of some rift that has come between you. That person might as well be on the other side of the planet because you cannot communicate with one another. Your hearts are estranged.

We were all once far away from God because there was a great rift between us and Him. Sin had separated us from Him and made us enemies. We were afraid of God; we hated Him; we stayed as far away from Him as we could because we were not sure what He might to do us if we got too near.

Then Jesus stepped in. In fact, the Father sent Him. How amazing that God the Father, the very one that we hated and ran from, wanted us back so badly that He sent His own Son to heal the breach which breach was no easy matter! It was not just about apologising on our behalf for our rebellion. It was about paying the debt for what we owed God.

Death was the penalty God demanded for our stubborn disobedience. God created us for a very specific purpose – to have fellowship with Him and to manage the earth and its resources for Him, but we thumbed our noses at Him and ran amok. We lived as we chose, did as we liked, wasted His gifts and refused to have anything to do with Him. We deserved to die.

Then He sent Jesus to die, as though He had done what we did. Jesus loved and obeyed the Father in every way we did not. The people whom God chose to be His own people put Him to death as an evil-doer. He went willingly in obedience to the Father.

Gone was the sin between us and God. Gone was the enmity, the broken fellowship, the hatred and rebellion. The Father opened His arms to us and said, “Come.”  There was no reason for us to be estranged from Him any longer.

We have been brought near!

Luella Campbell

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