Our Only Hope
I’ve been watching a lot of Star Wars recently.
You see, I grew up loving the old movies and the prequels. I remember going to the movie theatres to see Revenge of the Sith; it was the first movie I watched with a PG-13 rating.
There are so many intense themes that reverberate through the Star Wars films and shows: redemption, love, the price of power and greed, hope, and sacrifice.
You can see almost all of these themes payout in the life of Anakin Skywalker who spent half of his life in the light and the other half in the dark. But, although the pursuit of power led to the price of losing everyone he loved; love restored him in the end. (And ironically, Anakin turned to the dark side because he was trying to protect his beloved wife… and ended up sealing her fate in the process).
How far would you go to protect your loved ones? What would you sacrifice? In the Return of the Jedi, Anakin sacrificed his life to save his son, Luke, and defeated the evil Darth Sidious once and for all (until he comes back as a Zombie in the Rise of Skywalker).
We also have a loving father who laid down his life for us to defeat evil and death – Jesus Christ, God incarnate. Even though there wasn’t an intense lightsaber battle on the rugged cross, there was a spiritual battle. One that Jesus won – no high ground advantage required.
But what does this mean? When we see or wear the cross, the symbol of the ultimate sacrifice, what do we think of?
Here are three takeaways for me from the cross:
God loves us very much (1 John 3:16).
Not everyone is even willing to die for people they love or like, few people are willing to die for people they don’t think deserves it. But God proves His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).
But it doesn’t stop there for God has given us the right to be called his children – and we are! And in this, we have hope (1 John 3:1-3).
Through faith in Jesus’s sacrifice, we have peace (Romans 5:1)
Do you desire peace in your life and your heart? Have you experienced God’s peace?
In his perfect peace, we can let go. We can be still. We can trust that He is God, He is in control, and trust that his ways are bigger than our ways.
With God’s peace, we can be brave, courageous, and persevere through dark and challenging times (like the “good guys” in Empire Strikes Back).
The apostle Paul had a few words to say about it in his letter to the Romans:
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ… And not only that, but we also boast in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Romans 5:1-5)
We also should have a sacrificial heart (Matthew 16:24)
My favorite Star Wars movie is Rogue One. This tragic storyline follows a ragtag group who give their lives for the rebellion and the hope that peace would be restored in the galaxy – and not death and destruction.
They complete their suicide mission, and it gives the hope (how to blow up the Death Star) in A New Hope.
Because Jynn Erso, Cassian Andor, and others laid down their lives, other rebels could keep fighting for the cause and be inspired to make the same sacrifices. Needless to say, paying the ultimate price isn’t easy. However, because Jesus laid down his life for us, we can lay our lives down for others. He showed us the way.
But through dying-to-self and putting others before ourselves, we can live a transformed life:
“In view of the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your true worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:1-2)
Do you feel unequipped for this task? Don’t worry, God will not send you into battle with a broken lightsaber.
All you have to do is humble yourself, repent, and pray for God to change your heart. He already promises that he will:
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 36:26).
That’s the honest truth,
Copyright © 2021 by Melody Turner
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