Sunday, April 8, 2012

The war is won...and the fight has begun

Today is Resurrection Sunday. Easter. And there is a feeling in the air...of anticipation. Hope!

There have been many Easters before....but this one has a distinct feeling about it that feels - more alive!

As I pondered the meaning behind this "feeling," I got to thinking again about the C.S. Lewis movie, The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe - (I have no idea why that movie is on my mind!) specifically about the part where Aslan comes back to life. This is such a joyous time! Death has been defeated and Aslan has won! You'd think they would have had a party. Instead, they head directly into battle...a battle that has already begun. The witch, thinking she has won, has declared that she has no need of prisoners - kill them all. 

A battle? Wait...That really doesn't fit with my picture of Easter. A battlefield? Where is the sunshine and lollipops, I mean colored eggs? Where are all the flowers? Where are the pretty new clothes? In my mind, the story sort of ends with the Resurrection celebration. But, of course, it doesn't.

That really got me to thinking. Then, in the recesses of my mind, a verse about a sword started rolling around, begging me to look for more. It is from Luke 22: 36-38. "He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. 37 It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’[b]; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.”
 38 The disciples said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.”
   “That’s enough!” he replied."

Why did Jesus tell his disciples to get a sword? I asked a few friends and they gave me the same, "I have no idea" kind of stare. Somehow, I had a feeling that verse wasn't talking about a literal, physical sword...but a spiritual one. 

When I got home from Easter lunch with friends, I took the time to do some searching. I found this commentary at that confirmed my thinking and explained it this way - "The disciples take Jesus' remarks literally and incorrectly. They note that they have two swords, but Jesus cuts off the discussion. Something is not right, but it is too late to discuss it. As the arrest will show, they have misunderstood. They draw swords then, but Jesus stops their defense in its tracks. He is not telling them to buy swords to wield in physical battle. They will have to provide for themselves and fend for themselves, but not through the shedding of blood. They are being drawn into a great cosmic struggle, and they must fight with spiritual swords and resources. The purchase of swords serves only to picture this coming battle. This fight requires special weapons (Eph 6:10-18)."

Ephesians 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

That is what I think I was feeling in my spirit...a new start, a new stirring, and a new call to war. It's a call to put on the whole armor of God and take a stand. That's it! 

Happy Easter my's time for a new beginning. Dreams that were dead, hopes that were gone, situations that seemed hopeless - it's time for new life. The good news is this - this war is already won.

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