Paul wrote, “… and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity” (Ephesians 2:16). There are four parts to this verse that answer four questions: Who, What, Where, How?
The “who” is Jesus. The “what” is reconciling men to God. It is through Jesus that men can come to the Father (John 14:6). It is in Him that all spiritual blessings are found, including adoption as sons (Ephesians 1:3, 5). Without Christ, no man can be justified.
The “where” is in the one body. This one body is the church of which Christ is the head (Ephesians 1:22-23). It is in this body that the peace of God is found (Colossians 3:15).
The “how” is through the cross. Men can be reconciled to God because of the death of Christ on the cross. It is through His blood that men have the forgiveness of sins (Ephesians 1:7). It is by His blood that men have been redeemed (1 Peter 1:18-19). It is through the preaching of the cross that men know what they must do to be saved (1 Corinthians 1:18; 2:1-5; cp. Acts 8:32-38).
Notice that the body and the cross are both unique. There is only one body in which men are reconciled to God. There is only one cross through which men are reconciled to God. If there is more than one body, is there more than one cross? If we can have the body, church, of our choice, then can we have the cross of our choice (cp. John 19:17-18)? Think about it.
Steven F. Deaton