One example of reconciliation comes from marriage. Sometimes a couple has difficulties and they separate from each other. If the two of them work out their problems and unite again as one, then that’s called “reconciliation”. They have reconciled to each other. There is peace between them. It’s being at peace with someone that you used to be at war with! This is covered in Romans chapter 5.
For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. (Romans 5:10-11)
God reconciled the whole world to Himself. He didn’t wait for us to be sorry for our sins and come to him claiming that we had repented from those sins. He died for us while we were still sinners –His enemies!
Did that act of reconciliation –Jesus’ death on the cross– save mankind? No! He says “we are saved through his life!” There is a distinction between being reconciled and being saved. God made peace with man by removing all obstacles between us and Him. He has made an offer: accept His Son’s life in exchange for your own life. That’s salvation!