When this Epistle was written, the hatred of centuries had reached its climax. The Jew, able to trace his unbroken line of descent from Abraham, proud of the religious prerogatives of his race, magnifying his unique relationship to Jehovah, looked with scorn on the uncircumcised Gentiles around. They were Gentile dogs. He spat on the ground if they crossed his path.
As long as the Mosaic ritual was the prescribed method of approaching Jehovah, there was no way of removing this hostility. The Jew entrenched himself within its barriers, justifying his hatred by religious sanctions. The Gentile chafed and rebelled against its exactions. But our Saviour, in his flesh, and by his cross, broke down the middle wall of partition, and abolished the enmity even the law of commandments contained in ordinances. He fulfilled the law so perfectly, not for Himself, but for all, that it had no more to ask. Its claims were met and satisfied; and therefore the Jews could not insist on them, on the one hand, nor the Gentiles chafe beneath them on the other.
Moreover, by his death the Saviour has made an atonement and propitiation for men as men. Not for the Jew in one way, or the Gentile in another; but for all on the same terms. By one death, in one body on the cross, which is common to the whole world of men, and by his intercession, through which both have access to the one Father, He has brought to an end the divisions of ages.
But He has done more. In his resurrection, He is constituted the origin and head of a new race. The race of regenerate men! The race of his resurrection-life and power! The race of the new heavens and the new earth. All who believe in Him are born into that new humanity. It is the one new man, which is composed of all nations, and kindreds, and peoples, and tongues.