Love and War

As a human race we seem to have learned very little. War has been a reality since before the dawn of civilization. We are not any more civilized than our ancestors were thousands of years ago. In fact, we have simply become more efficient in killing. Today, instead of hundreds or thousands dying in wars, hundreds of thousands and even millions are dying. War continues all over the world.  

In stark contrast, Jesus was a teacher of love. He came during a time when war was just as brutal and vicious. Yet, Jesus taught His followers to love their enemies. He talked about a God, our Father in heaven, who loves all human beings unconditionally. He talked about mercy and forgiveness. He told parables of loving our neighbors, like the Good Samaritan. He told His followers that there are only two commandments: love God and love your neighbor as yourself.

Christ came to save us from sin and hatred and war. He came to cleanse our hearts and make them pure. He came to save individuals. He knew their names and everything about them before He met them. He told Nathanael, He knew his name, and in amazement Nathanael declared, “You are the Son of God!” (John 1:48). During His three-year ministry, Christ healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, opened the ears of the deaf and even raised the dead. He loved them all. He had compassion on the hungry masses, so He fed them. He even healed the servant of a Roman Centurion who, according to Christ demonstrated the greatest faith. Christ was full of kindness and love for all, without a spec of evil or sin in Him. Christ was perfect man and perfect God. Yet, there were still those who conspired to murder Him. For even these, He grieved, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, killing the prophets and stoning those who are sent to you! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!” (Matthew 23:37).

When the time came, Jesus dreaded the cross with great fear. Imagine knowing all the details of your death before they occurred. He knew how He would have to suffer, yet He willingly accepted the cross for us, for each and every one of us. He suffered betrayal by one of His chosen disciples, as well as by countless others who cried out “Crucify Him!” They were His people and He loved them, yet they called for His execution, a horrible and brutal way to die. He must have been heartbroken.

Throughout His ministry, Christ taught love. He showed love to all. Yet, many still rejected Him and wanted Him killed. As He hung on the cross, He even forgave His executioners, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). Christ died for all those who ever participated in brutal and violent acts of war. He died for the poor and the rich, the famous and the lonely. He died for the liar, the thief, the adulterer and envious. He died for us.

Three days later, He rose from the dead, and when He did, the truth was revealed. Jesus Christ was God. He could have stopped His suffering and crucifixion at any point, but He did not. The truth is, He came down from His heavenly place of glory to die for us! I still find it hard to believe that God would become a man and willingly die for us!

Now, I know that idealism can only be realized through God who is the source of love. War and hatred will continue, but Christ offers us an alternative, true unconditional love. Each of us can share in God’s love, if we choose Christ. He will teach us how to truly love. At one point in my life I became disillusioned with the world, with politics, government and nations. The world does not offer us hope. Only Christ, who died so that we may have eternal bliss in His presence, offers us hope. It is only His love that can save us from ourselves. Through the love of Christ, we can overcome the pain and suffering of this world.  
© 2017  Helen Kamenos  All rights reserved

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