I have read tons and watched many movies about the Great (I mean that in the most horrible sense of the word) Wars of the 20th century. The First World War was even dubbed most hopefully, yet ultimately inaccurately, “The war to end war” by H.G. Wells in 1914 (that war to end war didn’t end until 1918!).
I live in Canada, and when we pause on November 11 to remember the armistice of World War 1, we’re acknowledging suffering, courage, destructive nationalism and sacrifice. But, we’re not actually remembering the end of war. Armistice itself is not the end of war; it’s only a halt to hostilities while everyone tries to negotiate a more persevering peace.
Remembrance Day Is Not The End of The War
Essentially, Remembrance Day is a remembering of our human desire for cease-fire, but it is not the end of war. Humanity is still seeking the space to negotiate a lasting peace.
Remembrance Day is a remembering of our human desire for cease-fire, but it is not the end of war.
The Bible is the Great (I mean that in the most wonderful sense of the word) Story of the lasting peace between God and humanity. This lasting peace is meant to change everything – from friendships to marriages, work to play, how nations relate to one another, and how people steward creation.
Humanity lives at war with God. We resist his commands. We reject his wooing. We mock his ways. We want it our way. Yet, despite this great broken relationship, the good news of the gospel is that through Christ, God has reconciled us to himself. “All this is from God,” writes the Apostle Paul, “who reconciled us to himself through Christ…” (2 Corinthians 5:18).
We Can Find Peace
As Christians, we grow in understanding what it means to no longer be at war with God. We don’t simply cease hostilities (like some do by ignoring the spiritual life altogether). Instead, we know that “since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).
In other words, in Jesus Christ – his life, teaching, miracles, death, resurrection and ascension -God has done all that was needed to not simply stop the shooting, but to fully make us his own family with all rights and privileges.
To use the national battles that still rage as a metaphor, it’s as if the Iranians have adopted the Americans as full brothers and sisters. Or as if those on the political right have fully welcomed in those on the left as their very own. That seems impossible and almost absurd, doesn’t it?
And yet, this is what is spiritually true for Christians: we who were enemies are brought near by the blood of Christ (Colossians 1:21; Ephesians 2:13). The war is over. Lasting peace has come. While we were still firing our weapons and sharpening our spears, God has reconciled us to himself through Jesus Christ. When Jesus went to the cross, the battle ended. Your war is over.
When Jesus went to the cross, the battle ended. Your war is over.
Are You Still At War?
Slow down and consider where you are still at war with God. Are you trying to prove yourself? Are you determined to still do things your way? Are you doubting the truth of what he says about your sin, need for repentance, and new life? Are you arguing with him about what his Word says about who you are as a child of God? We don’t always think about it this way, but when we strive against God, we’re still acting like it’s armistice and not the lasting peace that Jesus accomplished.
What changes in you – yes, deep down in you – when you truly consider that the lasting peace has come? When you realize you’re fully reconciled – that indeed in Christ, the reconciling of all things is in God’s mind – what might change and awaken in your spirit?