Sacrifice and Victory
April 1, 2003 - There's probably not a family in the United States that doesn't have some personal connection among the troops to the Middle East. I have many dear friends in uniform, not to mention my son Edward, who is in the corps at West Point.
by Franklin Graham
In troubled times like these, we gain a deeper understanding of the true meaning of sacrifice. We sharpen our prayers as we consider the price paid by lonely families separated by thousands of dangerous miles, by young soldiers who fight bravely for their country, and by those we never knew who died defending our freedom.
And now comes Easter.
God's Word reminds us, "Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:7-8, NIV).
That passage goes on to make it clear that when we were entrenched in our sins, we were nothing less than God's enemies. "For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!" (5:10). While we were in our sinful condition, God sent His Son to redeem us.
That's unconditional love. Christ's sacrifice is what saves us and sets us apart. We owe our lives to Him.
How should we respond? "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will" (Romans 12:1-2, NIV).
There has never been a more important time for us to take a stand for Christ. It's often said that there are no atheists in a foxhole. At a time when we are daily reminded of the threat of terrorism, many of our neighbors are genuinely seeking God. This Easter could be the perfect time for you to help them find Him.
I know that you will join me in prayer for those who are defending us and who are fighting for freedom. Remember to pray, too, for the thousands of Christians in the Middle East, that God will not only preserve them but also empower them to spread the Gospel across that region.
The good news of Easter is that the ultimate battle has already been fought and won. Jesus is Lord.