2 Samuel 1:27 "How the mighty have fallen! The weapons of war have perished!"
Like most people on Earth, I long for a day when war will be no more. Tragically, I don’t think that it will ever happen in my lifetime, or indeed anyone else’s. I personally think that it’s going to take the Return of Christ on this planet before war will be over. Between now and then, a lot of nations, peoples, and ethnic races will still raise arms and fight one another.
For instance, presently we’re ending a long and fruitless war in Afghanistan and Iraq, with another Russo-Slavic war in the Crimea on the horizon, as well as a conflict between the two Koreas. Just when we’re successfully bringing our military folks home, another conflict arises and man’s inhumanity to man raises its ugly head again. As creatures, we’re supposed to be the greatest work God ever made because we’re hallmarked with His image. In reality, we are abysmal warmongers, whose depths of cruelty, aggression, and hostility denounces and shames the good work of God within us.
As we draw closer to the historical events and commemorations of Holy Week, we will be reminded of the loathsome betrayal and unjust arrest, trial, and execution of Christ. We will see humanity at its best in Christ’s obedience, meekness, and sacrifice, compared to mankind’s abominable acts of cruelty, injustice, and even insanity. If we are really honest with ourselves, we will recognize that all of us are capable of the same despicable deeds that sent Christ to the Cross. We are no different than the vilest characters depicted in the Gospel stories; we are no better than anyone else.
The good thing about this self-awareness of human depravity is this: it brings us humbly before Jesus, from whom we receive undeserved grace and total mercy. Even though our sins nail and kill Him on the Cross, Jesus pours out His godly love to rescue and redeem us, as well as to save and sanctify us, so that we may be eternally restored to God’s favor, love, and peace.
Questions for personal reflection
What areas in the world are currently experiencing conflict? What are my prayers for the people of those warring regions?
Prayers: Lord Jesus, today we call upon You as the Prince of Peace and the Royal Redeemer who rescues and reconciles the world. We pray for all those regions where war and conflict, unrest and division are painfully affecting the lives of many innocent people. Help us, as Christians, to pray for peace continually. Grant us peaceable attitudes to help reduce hostility, disagreement, anger, and aggression in our own lives. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.
John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment on today’s message, please send him an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today’s image is on of John’s new Holy Week images called ‘Cup of Salvation.’ If you would like to view a larger image, please click here: Cup of Salvation.