by Chris Forder
It has been 100 years since the end of the First World War. It was called “the Great War”, “the war to end all wars”. One hundred years ago, on 11 November 1918, the guns of the Western Front fell silent after four years of continuous warfare. With their armies retreating and close to collapse, German leaders signed an Armistice, bringing to an end the First World War. From the summer of 1918, the five divisions of the Australian Corps had been at the forefront of the allied advance to victory. In the four years of the war more than 330,000 Australians had served overseas, and more than 60,000 of them had died. The social effects of these losses cast a long shadow over the post-war decades. Each year on this day many Australians observe one minute’s silence at 11am, in memory of those who died or suffered in all wars and armed conflicts. It is right that we remember and honour those who fought for our freedom. Friends, lest we forget. May we always remember.
Sadly, this was not the war to end all wars, since the First World War there have been many wars, including a second world war. It seems that humanity is marked not by peace but by destruction.
As Christians, though, we remember another day where victory was won in a war. We remember the day that Jesus died on the cross defeating Satan and sin. We remember the day that Jesus rose again bringing new life, peace with God and freedom from the punishment of hell. Unlike World War 1, this victory didn’t cost us at all, but it cost God his Son and Jesus his life. It is now in Jesus that we have new life and freedom to live, and in Galatians 5:13 it says to use that freedom for righteousness not wickedness.
It is also important to say that for us, the war is not over, we are still in a spiritual battle (Ephesians 6:12), but the war is won, won through Christ’s sacrifice.
Lest we forget.
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