It’s not easy to fight a battle when you can’t see the enemy.
Warfare brings the connotation of enemies coming against each other, weapons ready, to annihilate and destroy for the purpose of a greater end.
In traditional warfare, the enemy is seen. Better understood.
In the battle we fight now, against a virus and all the disillusionment it brings, we struggle to figure out the enemy. To name it is one thing; to know how to effectively fight it is a whole other matter.
We’re not the true warriors now, as we stay away from our social institutions and friends, as we distance ourselves from those who may be carriers of this virus. We’re not the frontline fighters; we are the ones watching from a distance, doing as we’re asked to do.
The true soldiers are the ones serving the rest of us. The doctors and nurses who put their lives on the line to deal with the sick. Those working in grocery stores who stock shelves and deliver food orders. Those who care for people who can’t care for themselves. The first responders who are working to make our cities safe and serve those in trouble.
What is true of any wartime situation is that the few fight to save the many. Those of us not in the battle need to do what we can to make the war effort successful. Pay attention to orders put in place for our safety and well-being. Make it easier for those on the frontlines.
Battles always cost. The consequences of warfare are felt throughout every culture–whether we choose to see it or not. There will be those who distance themselves from the reality of what’s happening, not wanting their lives disrupted by the inconvenience of this virus. Ignoring reality doesn’t make it any less real.
As we approach Easter, the celebration of Jesus’ triumphal victory over the brokenness of life and the ugliness of eternal death, it’s easy to forget the battle He waged for our benefit. His gift of forgiveness, love, and grace didn’t come easily.
It came with a cost.
He claimed to be God, which infuriated the Jewish leaders. They saw Him as blasphemous and wanted Him killed. But the Jews weren’t allowed to kill anyone; they had to make it an affront to Caesar to get the Romans to do their dirty work.
The Romans were masters of torture. They flogged Jesus till the skin was stripped from His back. He was hung on a cross with nails driven through His wrists and feet. In that place of pure isolation–separated from His Father for the first time in all eternity–He paid the price for every wrongdoing ever committed, then and in the future. He fought the battle alone; no one else was qualified to do what He did.
He did it to offer us freedom from the disease of darkness that has broken each of us and our world. And He offers the only cure guaranteed to work.
Jesus fought an enemy we can’t conquer alone. The One fought for the many.
He’s the Hero we need to acknowledge.