The War that is Over
For sixty years following the end of World War II, two Japanese soldiers, Yoshio Yamakawa and Tsuzuki Nakauchi of the 30th Division of the Imperial Japanese Army, continued to hide in the mountains of the southern Philippines. For sixty years they hid out in fear of being captured and imprisoned by Allied troops or of being captured and punished by the Imperial Japanese Army. They wasted sixty years of their lives under the false assumption that they were still at war.
When they were discovered in 2005, Oliver Teves of the Associated Press, reported, “It was learned that they wanted to go back to Japan but were afraid they would be court-martialed for withdrawing from action.”
Even at the ages of 87 and 85, Yamakawa and Nakauchi were hesitant to take that risk until a 93-year-old former military doctor was brought to them to assure them that the war was over and they would face no recriminations from either side.
Like Yoshio Yamakawa and Tsuzuki Nakauchi, we once were at war. Our sin is rebellion against God; our sin is like war against God. As a result, we often hide from God, afraid that God is out to get us, afraid that God is anxious to punish us, afraid that God continues to harbor anger against us.
The truth is that Jesus has already fought the decisive battle of the war. That battle was not against us but for us! Through His death and resurrection, Jesus defeated the powers of sin and Satan. Through His death and resurrection, Jesus has liberated us from guilt and death and judgment.
The good news is that we no longer need to waste our lives by hiding from God and missing out on the love and forgiveness and joy and peace and hope He intends for us.
Jesus Christ died to end the hostility between us and God! Let us not go on living as though He did not die or as though His death means nothing! Let’s live as His loved ones who gratefully accept what He has done to restore our relationship with God and who enthusiastically embrace the joy and peace and hope of His never-ending-presence with us now!