Wonder: The Impossible Becomes Possible
This month I found myself thinking about the heroism of WWII. December 16 marked the 74th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge. There were many battles in WWII but according to Alex Kershaw in his book, The Longest Winter, the greatest battle in U.S. history was the Battle of the Bulge.
Hitler’s last great attempt was to move through the Ardennes and take Bastogne on his way to securing the port city of Antwerp, and, in so doing, strengthen his grip on the war. Overwhelmed and against all odds, a small contingent held their ground until Patton and his 3rd Army could arrive and provide support. According to the U.S. DOD, American forces suffered 89,500 casualties at the Battle of Bastogne (Battle of the Bulge), including 19,000 killed, 47,500 wounded, and 23,000 captured or missing. Today I reflect with gratitude on the sacrifice of those soldiers who stood tall against great odds and resisted Hitler and Nazi Germany.
There is an enemy greater than Hitler and a disease greater than Nazism – and that is Satan and the disease of sin. Facing these seemingly insurmountable foes, mankind too was overwhelmed, outgunned, and had no prospect of a 3rd Army to rescue us. Only God could save us. And he sent Jesus to liberate our sin-controlled souls and defeat Satan.
You want to talk about commitment? Sacrifice? Suffering and service? That’s Jesus! He made a way where there was no way. He defeated the enemy of our souls and the sin that judged us. He turned the impossible into possible.
Think for a moment about the realities of our salvation:
- MAN’S CONDITION
One of the great Christmas narratives is found in Luke 1:26-38. Here we see Mary talking with the angel Gabriel expressing how overwhelmed and confused she was with all that was going on. Humanly speaking it was impossible for her to have a child as a virgin. It was impossible for Jesus to be fully God and fully man. And man was in an impossible situation with no hope. The Bible states that man is a sinner (Romans 3:23), man cannot save himself (Romans 6:23) and man is guilty and must pay for his sins (Ezekiel 18:20). Hopeless and impossible…that was man’s condition. Man’s condition was more impossible than the odds at the Battle of the Bulge and more devastating than being continuously shelled or even being captured and tortured. Separated from God, from heaven and from forgiveness because of our sin.
- GOD’S SOLUTION
God saw our condition and He sent His solution, the Savior of the world, Jesus. Jesus came to save us and He was – and is – the ONLY solution (Acts 4:12). I think of the Battle of Bulge; Ike did his thing, so did Monty and Bradley, but it was Patton who got there first to bring the reinforcements that were desperately needed to push back the enemy. Now I think about Jesus; when Jesus came, He did not represent reinforcements. No, He was the ONLY ONE who could rescue us. Only Jesus could defeat our enemy and solve our dilemma with Satan, sin and eternal judgement. Man’s Condition = sin, guilt, judgment
God’s Solution = Jesus, Savior, salvationI think of the many people who need to find salvation all around the world. Pray with me that they find the solution to eternal life and forgiveness: Jesus, God’s solution, our Savior.
- OUR DECISION
Man’s condition was hopeless and impossible but God made a way by offering His solution, Jesus Christ, to be the Savior of the world. Jesus came and made it possible for everyone to come to faith through Him. But you must decide. No one can choose to become a Christian for you. Only you can decide for you. Look again at Luke 1 where Mary made a decision. She had worked through and processed everything and said I’m all in. She wanted to be an active participant in God’s plan. That’s the same decision we need to make. We need to say “God, I’m all in with your plan for me!”We need to become an active participant in our own rescue. We don’t save ourselves, the Bible is clear on that. Ephesians 2:8,9 says, “For by grace we are saved through faith….” We must choose to accept or reject the gift of Jesus’ salvation. If we don’t choose God we are in effect rejecting Him.Choose to give your life to Jesus. Join His family and receive His salvation. God could have “forced us” to follow Him but He knew that would not be sincere or heartfelt. He gave us a choice. God chose us and He invites us to choose Him. He will not force you to follow Him, only you can choose.
Because of Jesus, our hopeless and impossible condition has been made hopeful and possible through God’s solution, Jesus Christ. Receive Him and believe in Him. What a way to celebrate this beautiful season.