Will Jesus be Remembered on Remembrance Day?
The Greatest Victory
What do you consider was the greatest victory – in the history of the earth? This is a subjective question, because we will have different views depending on our culture and patriotism. The ‘greatest victory’, to one person, could be the greatest defeat or humiliation to another. Can there ever be unanimity that one particular conquest benefited all people?
In reflecting on some of the great campaigns that have taken place in our history: the campaigns and achievements of Napoleon in early 19th century; the defeat of the Spanish Armada under the command of Howard on Monday, July 29, 1588; the toppling of the Inca empire by Spain under Francisco Pizarro in the 16th century; the colonisation of America and the defeat of the Indian culture by the settlers; the centuries of world domination by the Roman Empire; Hannibal’s victories in the second century BC; and the great campaigns of Rommel and Montgomery during the second world war; we discover that in many of these campaigns and victories, many people consider them worth celebrating, whilst others feel humiliated by them; in their eyes they are not considered as victories, but humiliating and oppressive.
Benefits all of mankind
So, could there ever have been a battle so victorious that we could proclaim it was of universal benefit to every single person who has ever, and will ever live, upon the earth? I expect we would have to say, no. It is difficult to perceive of any victory in human conflict that has benefited everyone; there always has to be a loser, the defeated, and in variable perception there must always be a victor.
Throughout history, millions of people have given their lives in conflicts, defending their country, their families, and their friends. Their worthy sacrifices continue to protect our freedom from oppression and tyranny, and in most cases the world is a better place because of the sacrifice of these people.
Conflict though, is the desire of men under the power of the ‘prince of this world’ who deceives and blinds men to the truth, and sadly it is always the individual who suffers most, who bears the consequences of other peoples greed, ambition, and evil. The devil cares nothing for us; he will deceive us and cause us to hurt each other. His desire is to keep us away from the truth, from Jesus, to keep us from walking in the Spirit. It is not man who is evil; we were all created in God’s image. God is in everyone. God loves everyone, but satan corrupts this image. Many people have given their lives in conflict, but this should not be the case.
In all conflict: international, national, local and even down to personal arguments and disputes someone will always be hurt and need healing and forgiveness. Nations suffer from the domination of other powers. Individuals suffer from the injustice of governments and neighbours. Where one power or individual sees justice and victory, another may see injustice and defeat.
So, again, has there ever been fought and won such a significant battle for mankind? One that has benefitted everyone? Did its victory liberate the whole of mankind: every single person? Did the victory not only benefit mankind, but more, did it also benefit the whole of creation? Does its victory continue to offer fullness of life for everyone? It seems impossible that any victory could claim to deliver such far reaching promises.
Yet there was once such a victory, such a battle, such a bloody act of warfare: the greatest victory was the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus Christ for salvation of all mankind.
The Greatest Victory
All accounts of conquests that have glorified the greatest achievements of man throughout the history of the world pail into insignificance against the victory that Christ won for us on the cross over sin and death. The victory that He won gives us fullness of life. Conflicts are always started for selfish reasons, such as: ideology, nationalism, pride, conquest, and political desire. Christ’s sacrificial victory was not for Himself, but for the whole of mankind and creation. He came to earth to die for us; a single man against humanity.
The victory that Christ won, was not for Himself, but for everyone. It was fought and won because of His love for us all. All of mankind are the beneficiaries of His sacrifice. We have been rescued from slavery to sin, death, and eternal captivity.
The Good News is that we have been liberated and Jesus welcomes us to come to Him and embrace Him as our Lord and Saviour so that we can receive forgiveness, reconciliation, fullness of life, and healing. The greatest battle in the history of the world has been fought and won. Through Christ’s Blood all our sins are washed away. Through His resurrection we are given the freedom to follow Him. His resurrection confirmed His victory for us.
Christ’s victory is our blessing
The victory of Christ, is ours. Jesus wants us to claim His victory in our lives each day and to let it sink deep into our hearts. I must admit that at times I find it difficult to really experience the truth of His victory in my life. It is not surprising because, although we are liberated from the world, much of the time we still have to live in conflict with our human nature that desires the things of the world, and our spirit that desires the things of God. I sometimes wonder whether I really have been liberated, as I struggle daily to live free from my sinful nature. Sometimes, in my heart, I cannot believe that I am free. We all battle with sin, but we need to remember that Christ’s blood has completely cleansed us from all our sin, past, present and future. Christ set us free and He wants us to live in that victory; living our life in the fullness that He offers to us.
The blood which Christ shed as He was tortured, and which later fell to the earth in drops from the cross, completely washed away our sin before God and brought us back into a relationship with Him. We are forgiven and free by Christ’s blood. The Blood meets all the requirements of a holy and righteous God and nothing else is needed. If we feel we still need to earn our forgiveness then we are denying the sufficiency of Christ’s blood.
Watchman Nee, once wrote, ‘The Blood procures our pardon for what we have done; the Cross procures our deliverance from what we are.’ (‘The Normal Christian Life’. Watchman Nee. Kingsway Publications, p.25).
Power of the Cross
The cross is the power that enables us walk in our new life, as a liberated people, achieved by Christ’s victory. It is this power that replaces our old nature: the heredity of Adam, and fills us with our new nature: the Spirit of Christ. The cross is the power for our new life as children of God, disciples of Christ. Our old nature was crucified on the Cross with Christ Jesus. So walk out now in the power of the victory that Christ won for all mankind: the greatest victory there has ever been.
Because of Christ’s victory we will always be forgiven; we will always be with Christ. We have been set free from satan; the power of Christ lives within us. Jesus gives us a new life; rescued, healed, restored, and guaranteed a place in eternity with Him. Claim this victory, walk in it, it is yours. Claim Jesus’ promise that He came to give us life that we may live it to the full. This is the power of the cross; the greatest victory in the history of the world.