The Great Raid

AM Psalm 25; PM Psalm 9, 15
Amos 7:1-9; Rev. 1:1-8; Matt. 22:23-33

Christmas is a raid on the kingdom.

In Colossians 1:13, situated between Paul’s gratitude for what he has heard is happening in the lives of Colossian believers and his majestic description of the divine nature of Christ, is this incredible good news:

Colossians 1:13-14 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Jesus has raided the Kingdom of darkness and transferred us to his Kingdom of light.

I recently saw a tremendous movie: The Great Raid. According to IMDB,

“Set in the Philippines in 1945, THE GREAT RAID tells the true story of the 6th Ranger Battalion, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Henry Mucci who undertake a daring rescue mission against all odds. Traveling thirty miles behind enemy lines, the 6th Ranger Battalion aims to liberate over 500 American prisoners-of-war from the notorious Cabanatuan Japanese POW camp in the most audacious rescue ever.”

One of the many powerful aspects of this film was the loss of perspective on the part of the American prisoners. So long left in prison, they could not comprehend that their army would mount a rescue mission. Many were too sick to think of anything beyond their immediate survival. Their daily conflict with their captors took the place of any awareness they had of a larger conflict.

When the rescuers come, the prisoners are stunned. As they are taken away, many carried on the backs of the rescuing soldiers, there is a sense of complete amazement. They had been given a new life because their army refused to forget them, or to give them up to certain slaughter by their captors.

The movie powerfully portrayed the “rescue” that a Christian believer comes to see has happened in his or her own life. We were prisoners who, often, were unaware of the war in which we were captive, or the truth of our own sad condition. We were unaware that anyone could love us, or would send a precious son to rescue us at the cost of that perfect life. We were not aware of the depth of the love that brought us out of the domain of darkness and into the kingdom inheritance of a beloved child, all when we were most undeserving.

Christmas is the beginning of “The Great Raid.” The “Heavenly Host” give us a clue. No angelic army is gathered to witness the birth of a baby. This is an assault; it is the beginning of a raid into enemy territory, with one great object:

Our salvation. Yours. Mine.

That is what we are waiting to see every Advent. The beginning of the Great Raid.

(Michael Spencer)

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~ by Michael on December 5, 2005.

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