Every generation has its defining moment.
Dec. 7, 1941: Imperial Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, sank four battleships and killed 2,402 Americans.
Sept. 11, 2001: Islamic terrorists attacked New York and Washington, crashed four jets and took 2,977 innocent lives.
President Franklin Roosevelt immortalized Dec. 7 as “a day that will live in infamy.” In the dark hour that the United States was drawn into World War II, no one could have foreseen that within four years, we would be celebrating victory over Japan as well as Nazi Germany. In hindsight, journalist Tom Brokaw called the people who won that war “the greatest generation any society has ever produced.”
On the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, as repercussions and consequences continue to unfold, I wonder how history will judge our generation and the war against terror.
Our troops have fought bravely to accomplish their mission in Afghanistan and Iraq, and many have sacrificed their lives for the cause of freedom. The world is a safer place without Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. But the final chapter has not yet been written.
In the ongoing battle between good and evil, the defining moment in human history was the day Jesus was crucified. The Bible tells us that for three hours while He was dying, “darkness came over all the land” (Matthew 27:45). Far worse than that, it appeared that the Light of the world was being extinguished by a devilish conspiracy between political, religious and military authorities.
As far as Jesus’ followers were concerned, all was lost. Their beloved teacher and leader was dying. They might be next.
Yet today, Christians call that terrible day “Good Friday”–now that we know the whole story and understand what Jesus was doing in the depths of the darkness. Not only did He pay the price for our sins with His own blood, but then He defeated death and walked out of His own grave. His followers told everyone what they had witnessed, and the world has never been the same.
They never forgot what He said the night before He was crucified: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
As we remember 9/11–all that we lost that day and all the troubles we face today–let’s never forget that Jesus has overcome the world. We may not be able to see it yet, but we will soon.
The day is coming “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10-11).
In Jesus–and in Him alone–we have victory and peace. ©2011 BGEA
Scripture quotations taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version.