Archive for March, 2015

150 years ago this weekend, a great battle took place just down the road from here. It was a place called Bentonville, now known as Bentonville Battlefield. Two sides met in a fierce conflict that would be the final conflict and lead to the ultimate surrender and end of a great war.

Some would classify one side or the other as good or evil. In fact, for some, the battle still hasn’t ended. They fight it in their minds and traditions and attitudes daily, despite the fact that no matter what they do, say or think, they will never change the outcome.

In fact, this afternoon, there will be yet another re-enactment of that battle, another playing it over again. Even if in the make believe world of that re-enactment, by some “miracle” the south were to win, it would not change the final outcome – for that battle has already been fought and that war has already been won. As a result of that “victory” the chains of slavery would fall silent across this great land. People who had been captive for their whole lives would now be free. For those freed slaves, the battle was well worth it, and in many cases, they had done nothing for the fight.

It would have been around the year 30AD that another battle was being fought, another war coming to an end. The sides were fierce enemies and each had its mighty weapons. On that day, though, a final battle was won that would free slaves of a different kind. These slaves, like many in the southern states of the Confederacy, did not really participate in the battle. Oh, yes, the battle was fought for them, but not by them.

In this battle there were easily identifiable sides of good and evil, or God and Satan. The battle was not fought over a vast field or community, but rather on a hillside, on a plot of land just a few hundred yards by a few hundred yards. This battle did not leave thousands lying wounded or dead, but all of mankind, past, present and future, either living abundantly or dead spiritually. This battle was not about the shape of a country for the next 150 years, nor 300 or 500 years, but about the shape of a soul for all of eternity.

At Bentonville, great generals challenged and called upon their men to defend and die for the cause. At Calvary, Christ challenged great men and women of faith to stand up, defend and live for their way of life. At Bentonville, it might be said that many men died for the cause of a greater number, either the US or the Confederacy. At Calvary, it is said that one man died for all – or maybe even just one. At Calvary, Christ died for me.

What we can learn from Bentonville this weekend – that there really is no need to refight an already won battle. What we must learn from the cross of Calvary – that there really is no need to refight an already won battle. Stop trying to fight the battle of your life over and over. Rest in the victory that has already been won. You have been freed and the chains of slavery loosened for all eternity. Claim the prize.