Are you a Railway Man?
You might have heard of (or seen) the 2013 movie: The Railway Man. It’s a timely movie, with ANZAC Day having just been. The movie is about British soldier Eric Lomax who was a WW2 prisoner of the Japanese Army and worked on the Thai-Burma railway, where he was tortured (apart from the general awful treatment).
For years later he is still traumatised by what happened to him. Eventually, after many years, he makes contact with a Japanese ex-soldier who abused prisoners. When Lomax meets Takashi he is very angry and even considers killing him. However, he said that meeting Takashi was “in an attempt to let go of a lifetime of bitterness and hate”. The movie clearly shows the terrible harm that holding onto bitterness and hate can do to people.
In a very powerful moment in the film, Takashi apologises and Eric accepts his apology. They become friends and stay friends until their deaths.
Friends, we are people of forgiveness and reconciliation. God has forgiven our sins through Christ paying the penalty for them. God is such a forgiving and gracious God to all who repent! And, therefore, as children of the King, we should be showing the family likeness and extending forgiveness to everyone who genuinely asks us to forgive them. This can be very difficult at times, but lest we forget that the sacrifice so many soldiers/sailors/air force personnel/nurses/etc. made was so that we could enjoy freedom. But bitterness and hate are a cage we can imprison ourselves in. But Christ’s forgiveness and Spirit can/should/has set us free from the cage.
“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger … be put away from you ….
forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:31-32
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