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Sunday, 16 August 2015

VJ Day.

These past few days have seen a great deal of activity in connection with the 70th anniversary of VJ Day - the day on which the Japanese Forces formally surrendered to the Allies, and brought to an end what we refer to as the Second World War.  Of course, the pre-cursor to that event was the horrific consequences of the dropping of two Atomic Bombs on Japan - the first on the city of Hiroshima, the second on Nagasaki.

I have never been to Hiroshima - but I have been to Nagasaki, and visited the Peace Memorial Hall in the Peace Park.  It was an unforgettable experience.  One does not easily forget the image of a human being literally burned into a wall!  

There is still much debate about the morality of those bombings.  The deaths of some 250,000 people - the vast majority of whom were civilians - may be claimed to have saved the lives of many times that number if the alternative invasion of Japan had taken place.  However, I imagine that that was little consolation to those who survived the atomic bombs and the aftermath of radiation sickness and associated conditions.

As I read about some of the commemorative events, my mind went back some 2,000 years, and to a hill named Calvary.   There, one man died, on a wooden cross - and did so voluntarily.  He died, not that some tens of thousands of people might live, but that the whole of mankind might have the opportunity to be saved from the ravages of sin - it's power; its penalty, and, ultimately, its very presence.

That man, of course, was no ordinary man.  That Man was Almighty God, the Creator and Sustainer of all that is, in the Persona of the Son, in human flesh.  He lived a perfect, sinless, life - so that He could be the perfect sacrifice that paid the penalty for your sin and for mine.   Some debate the morality of that sacrifice, too.   Of course, the difference is that Jesus was willing to die for us.  The people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not given the choice!

Some 250,000 died that perhaps three times that number might live.  One died, that each and every one of us might live - not just now, but throughout eternity!  Of course, salvation is not forced upon anyone.  You must make that decision for yourself.   It would have been tragic if, after the bombings on those Japanese cities, the Allied troops had still invaded the country, and hundreds of thousands had still died conventionally.  The loss of life due to the bombings would have been a total waste.

Did Jesus die for you so that you could continue to live your life without Him?  Or are you willing to hand your life over to Him - confessing your sins and your sinfulness; repenting; inviting Him to take control of your life.  It's the way to real life!  Jesus gave us that assurance: "I have come that you might have life - and have it in all its fulness." (John 10:10).

The choice is yours.  The consequences are eternal.  Make sure that you make the right choice!

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