I’ve spent the last two weeks writing about the feud between John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson; today I want to write about the battle that propelled General Jackson into the national political spotlight: The Battle of New Orleans.
During the War of 1812 the British invaded America and used the Native Americans to fight against their former colonists. While constantly being outnumbered and underfunded, Jackson’s heroics at war rallied his ragtag troops, allowing him to win several key victories. The final, and most popular, of these victories came in New Orleans, where Jackson’s men won a shocking campaign. In the end, 13 Americans were killed and another 39 were wounded; the British casualties were more severe, with 291 killed, 1,262 wounded, and 484 missing or captured. Every one of those lives was lost in vain, for unbeknownst to anyone on the battlefield, the Treaty of Ghent had already been signed, and the war was technically over.
It’s a shame when people fight after the battle has already been won. There is no more victory left to fight for. It is like beating the proverbial dead horse.
That story reminds me of the chorus of a song by MercyMe:
What if I were the one to tell you that the fights already been won?
I think your day is about to get better.
What if I were the one to tell you that the works already been done?
That’s not good news, it’s the best news ever.
Jesus won the ultimate victory at Calvary; He defeated the power of sin and death, and signed Satan’s death warrant. Yet many people today feel like they need to keep fighting to earn their place in heaven, even though the battle is over. Jackson’s troops didn’t hear the “good news” that the battle was over, so they kept fighting. We have the good news, and if we will accept it and trust in the finished work of Jesus, we will be saved.
That really isn’t good news. It’s the best news ever.