Whilst holidaying in Normandy, France, we visited one of the number of military graveyards and we saw rows upon rows of white headstones, many of which bore the name, rank and unit of the person buried there. Some simply said `A Soldier`, or, `An Aircraftman`, because there had been no means of identifying who it was who’d been killed.
There were over a thousand such graves in this place, and it was staggering to see that many such victims were just teenagers, or in their early twenties, when they`d died. They had simply been called up, and went to war in order to release the French people from the oppression of German occupying forces. Those who had died were all young people who had no choice but to obey their nation’s call, and were to face the dreadful prospect of death at the hands of the oppressor.
Whilst looking at these headstones, I was reminded of Jesus, and how He was sent by His Father, to release us from the oppression of the oppressor of humanity, the devil. I don’t know how many lives were lost by allied servicemen and women during World War 2, but I know that number is more than a million. Not one of those individuals who died will have ever known what was achieved through their sacrifice. These all died in response to their nation’s call to serve.
Yet, the amazing fact is that, when Jesus died for us, to release us from the control of our oppressor, the death of this ONE MAN, JESUS, the Son of God, has brought to us who respond to Him, eternal freedom and peace! This is for ALL of humanity to experience! What an amazing liberation for those who respond, and receive for themselves. This salvation, provided for the whole of humanity, is sufficient for each and every individual who responds to Him, accepting what He has done for them, applying it personally to themselves. It brings about that wonderful experience of liberation.
Whatever any human being might do in order to release people from the oppression of an enemy force, it can bear no comparison to what Jesus has achieved for us. And in addition to that release from oppression, we’re brought into an eternal peace and security that no opposing force can remove from us. It’s no wonder, therefore, that the writer of Hebrews is able to say, ‘How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation’ (Hebrews 2:3).
We have an amazingly loving and gracious God, who has given so much to provide for our earthly and eternal peace and security. There’s so much to thank and praise Him for, and so much to look forward to, as we look towards the return of our Lord and Saviour Jesus.
Prayer: O Father God, I thank You for all that You have given me through the self- sacrifice of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I thank You that He was willing to lay down His own life in order to release me from the dreadful curse of sin, and the oppression of the devil. I pray that You will help me to help others experience this same deliverance for themselves. I pray that they may come to praise You for this same salvation, as they enter into the experience of it for themselves. This I ask, in Jesus` name. Amen.
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