No, I’m not diving into the debate on war. But I have been thinking a bit on battle. Last year I finally caught up with the rest of the world and discovered the Christian rock band Petra – just in time to learn they’ve broken up. One of my favorite songs of theirs is “Grave Robber,” that starts out like this:
There’s a step that we all have to take alone
An appointment we have with the great unknown
Like a vapor this life is just waiting to pass
Like the flowers that fade like the withering grass
But life seems so long and death so complete
And the grave an impossible portion to cheat
But there’s One who has been there and still lives to tell
There is One who has been through both heaven and hell
I could listen to those last two lines all day long. In Revelation 1, John tells about his vision of Christ. It is both incredible, and apparently frightening. In verses 17-18, after John falls at Jesus’ feet, “as though dead,” Jesus tells him
Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.
Did you catch that? The battle has been won. Jesus holds the keys of death and Hades. He has been through both Heaven and Hell, and still lives to tell. Which means you don’t have to go through Hell. He’s been there, he’s done that for you, and you no longer need to worry about….well, anything.
There is no more battle, no more fighting required. Whew!! What a relief!