Monday, May 8, 2017

Hacksaw Ridge

Last week I wrote about Paul's body of death--that gruesome picture he used to portray his sin. He asked the question, "Who will rescue me from this body of death?" Today I want to focus on that word rescue.

The Greek word that the apostle used in that question carried the idea of a wounded soldier being rescued on the battlefield. It is a passive verb, indicating that the injured is helpless and at the mercy of the one sent to rescue him. That is how Paul viewed himself, laying in the field, hurt and bleeding, and wondering if anyone cared enough to come to his aid.

The real life story of WWII hero Pfc. Desmond Doss can be used as an illustration of how our Lord rescues us. In the events that inspired a book and subsequent movie, this conscientious objector and strong believer in Jesus wanted to serve his country but refused to carry a weapon. He was routinely mocked and called a coward, but he actually displayed more bravery than most. Trained as a medic, he repeatedly put himself in harm's way in Japan, crawling into the action and bringing to safety the very ones who mocked his courage.

Doss was given a Purple Heart and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, among other awards. He stepped on a grenade to limit its damage, was shot in the arm, and endured other superficial injuries from shrapnel. In one day he singlehandedly dragged seventy-five wounded men from the battlefield to the hospital. At an award ceremony in the White House, President Truman spoke of his Doss’ heroism this way: "'I'm proud of you,' the President said. 'You really deserve this. I consider this a greater honor than being President[1].'"

Paul asked if anyone would rescue him. He answered his own question in Romans 7:25 by saying, "Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!" When we are laying there, like Paul, wounded in battle and dying from our sin, Jesus comes to our rescue. Reach up your arm and call out to Him today.

[1] Herndon, Booton, Hero of Hacksaw Ridge, Regent Publishers, Inc., p.89

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