The ANZAC legend was born 99 years ago and helped to forge the identity of Australia as a new nation. The disastrous Gallipoli landing (ironically attributed to the hero of a later war, Winston Churchill) sacrificed more than 11,000 Australian and New Zealand Army Corps lives. This event has been commemorated annually in remembrance of our war dead whose ultimate sacrifice guaranteed our freedom as a nation.
Less than a week prior to this event, though, we are also commemorating another sacrifice. Jesus’ innocent death purchased freedom for us, too. Two thousand years ago, God loved us enough to make provision for us to gain eternal life and to rescue us from an otherwise inevitable eternal punishment.
He gifted us His Son, Jesus, who qualified to die for our sins because of His perfection and who conquered the power of sin for us by rising from the dead. We just need to accept the gift by dying to self and rising to a new life with Christ in the driver’s seat. We must, as Jesus said, be ‘born again’.
This gift is not automatic but it is available. It needs to be received personally and the implications are that Jesus becomes Lord and therefore gets to call the shots on how we live our lives thereafter. We also have access to the God of Heaven who walks with us in this life and gives us confidence, peace and strength to live our best life now and not just in Heaven.
Naturally, we can think we’re doing OK now and that we don’t need Him, but the risk is that we merely hope or expect we’ll be OK for eternity. Eternity is a long time! Wisdom needs us to be sure we’re ready for it.
Although our ANZAC heroes purchased earthly freedom, they can’t guarantee it. Their contribution was enormous and should rightly be honoured. But how much more so is this true for Jesus who does guarantee our future and our eternal hope. May my life therefore bring Him all the glory, honour and praise that he so richly deserves!