Scripture: from verse 15
[Yeshua destroyed] in His own body the enmity occasioned by the Torah, with its commands set forth in the form of ordinances.
Observation: I’m actually not certain what all this means, but I love the phrasing.
Obviously it’s a reference to His death and resurrection. By His death, He conquered sin and reunited humans with God. So far so good.
But. Enmity in His body. He saw all the tension, all the estrangement, all the sin that humans were (and are) swimming in. He absorbed it all into Himself. And then He died, so that the enmity died with Him.
I think it’s that image of Yeshua as a sponge that sticks out to me. Drawing our pain and sin and confusion into Himself. Soaking it up, so it’s all in one place and He can kill it. Leaving us clean.
I don’t have analogies for this. I can think of partial, distant parallels – Harry Potter comes to mind, and I read once that C. S. Lewis prayed to take his wife’s sickness into his own body, and so on – but nothing that actually fits.
[Later: There’s two parts to this: absorbing our filth, and dying. Plenty of people have sacrificed their lives or their dignity for those they love, but it’s rare to see someone deliberately sacrificing both. I think it’s the indignity of the act that strikes me, as much as the death.]
He drank the poison out of our veins so he could burn it away in Himself. Nothing compares.
Application: Wow. Yeah, I got nothing.
Prayer: Yeshua, thank you for doing this. Thank you for absorbing all my sin, all my pain – and not throwing it away for someone else to deal with, but dying yourself so it is gone entirely. That’s amazing. Thank you.