The Breaking Down of Walls

A World Event

Next year, the world will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. That event in 1989 represented far more than a story of local political interest, but was representative of the collapse of a line which had divided a nation and signaled the coming end of barriers which had separated millions from freedom in other parts of the world. It was a momentous event in modern history with impact still being felt today.

What a Wall Can Represent

It is curious that a physical wall could represent so much. Throughout history we have had other walls which, when defeated signaled a time of change. For instance, the Chinese are famous for the Great Wall, constructed to keep out northern invaders during varied portions of their history. It is ironic that this wall was circumvented not by force, but by a general who allowed the gates to be opened due his dissatisfaction with his leaders. A change of dynasty came about shortly after.

In ancient times, walls were used to defend cities – especially capitals of empires. The failure of such a wall would signal the fall of such a city, and likely the empire. The walls of Troy were circumvented through clever subterfuge (according to legend). The walls of Babylon were defeated by the redirection of an entire river! The walls of Jerusalem were broken down in 586 B.C., causing the Babylonian exile, and again in A.D. 70, causing the end of ancient Israel. While these events may not be seen as positive changes (unlike the Berlin Wall), it is notable that change did take place.

An Even Greater Wall

In considering all the walls of history, it is important to remember another wall which was brought down due to an event of great change. This wall was not visible from space, nor was it famous in history. This wall actually was not even physical or manifested to the human eye. It was the wall of enmity which Paul describes: “For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity…thus establishing peace” (Eph. 2:14, 15, NASU). This was “wall” was a barrier which separated God’s chosen people (Israel) from those outside of the family of God (Gentiles). Through Christ’s saving work and the body He established, all such barriers were removed.

The End of Division

In remembering a world event which signaled the end of division between a people, let us remember an even greater event – the coming of Christ. Through His work, any real division between peoples ceased, the division between man and God was overcome, and true peace was possible to reign. A peace not found in nations or lines upon a map, but a peace found in the body of Christ.

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