Many houses have recently had displays of bunting. Bright Union Jacks celebrating VE Day – the day 75 years ago when the Nazi’s surrendered at the end of World War II. The memories are bitter-sweet. There was joy at the end of hostility and dreadful threat to life, but also sadness because of those who had risked and given their lives during the war.
Throughout history many battles and wars have been waged, many lives lost, and many victories won. Some are more famous than others; some are more far-reaching than others.
Two thousand years ago in Israel Jesus Christ was born. He lived a perfect life, but died a cruel death and rose to eternal life. This was the greatest victory of all time. He had conquered our worst and most dangerous enemy: sin. Unlike us, he always pleased God, even to the point of willingly giving himself as a sacrifice for our sins.
“Who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in his mouth; who, when he was reviled, did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but committed himself to Him who judges righteously; who himself bore our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed”1 Peter 2:22-24
“As the Father knows me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep”John 10:15
This victory of Jesus means that his followers can also be given eternal life when he comes back.
“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit”1 Peter 3:18
He asked his followers to remember him in bread and wine (communion), memorials of his life of utter dedication, death with bloodshed and resurrection to life.
“and when [Jesus] had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘Take, eat; this is my body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same manner he also took the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me’”1 Corinthians 11:24-25
Whatever victories we remember and celebrate, we should always remember this ultimate victory of Jesus Christ.
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“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ”1 Corinthians 15:57