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The Eleventh of the Eleventh

I needed to look up the word ‘armistice’ last week, just to clarify my understanding of the word and to make sure that I had the concept clear in my mind. It’s a funny word.  A more accessible synonym might be the word ‘truce’, where both combatants agree to drop their weapons, with the understanding that they can hold their present position, and if so desired, pick up where they left off.

An armistice is not really a solution, but simply a chance to hit the ‘pause button’ and reassess the situation and calculate the cost, and the especially the cost of continuing the conflict. More often than not, an ‘eleventh of the eleventh’ leads only to a ‘second of the first’, as a WW2 followed a WW1. An armistice can put a smile on everyone’s face, but not remove the hatred in everyone’s heart.

There is a very different concept at the centre of the Bible’s message concerning the war between a holy God and a sinful humanity. Not a temporary peace achieved by an armistice but a permanent peace secured by an atonement. No wonder it’s called “good news”. The Divine Combatant who rightly reveals his wrath against sin and sinners, also graciously reveals the very means for that sin to be removed, such that the warfare can be ended. I’m not sure that red poppies have ever grown on the site of Calvary, but they should, for there the sacrifice of atonement was made. And there something happened that deserves more than a minute’s silence, but an eternity of praise.

“Therefore since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”. (Romans 5:1)

DM, 15th November 2012


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