Monday, September 19, 2011
Today’s Topic: Jesus and Rambo
Today’s Text: Isaiah 53:1 Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
Have you ever thought about the correlation between the Gospel and Rambo? In case you don’t know who that it, he was a fictional movie character played by Sylvester Stallone. Seems like a stretch of a metaphor, doesn’t it? But hang on with me for a minute or two.
A group of American soldiers are being held in a Vietnamese prison camp long after the war was supposed to be over. They knew their country loved them and wanted them back, but they had long ago given up hope that anyone was really looking for them. In their hearts they wanted to believe that no man would be left behind, but time had diminished their hope.
Finally one man discovers evidence that there are soldiers being held prisoner and questions why no one is going to get them. The government officials are covering it up. He is finally allowed to organize a mission and allowed to think that he will succeed, but behind the scenes the officials are plotting his failure.
Rambo works his way through the jungle to the place where the enemy holds the prisoners captive. It is heavily guarded and totally secluded. The conditions are horrible, and the prisoners are suffering severely. When the hero reveals himself to them, they refuse to believe that he has come for them, or that he has any power to rescue them. As a result he gets caught by the enemy and tortured.
However, he escapes from his tormentors and begins an attack on the enemy that results in the destruction of the enemy camp and the release of the prisoners. As more and more explosions occur, more and more hope grows in the hearts of the prisoners until finally, when Rambo appears to unlock their cages, they embrace him and follow him to freedom. There would be more battles on the way out of the jungle, but they all now believed that they were going to make it.
Now, look at the story of the Gospel. For centuries the nation of Israel had been in bondage. There was hope based on their heritage and the prophecies declaring that the Messiah was coming and that He would set them all free. But time had diminished their hope. When He arrived the government officials denied who He was and convinced the people He had no real power to rescue them. They rejected Him and turned Him over to the enemy and He was tortured.
However, He overcame the torture and destroyed the enemy, setting the captives free and giving them a living hope. There are still battles being fought, but the power of the enemy has been overcome, and the Messiah is leading us to victory. Unfortunately there are many who remain in prison because they choose not to believe.
As I said, it’s a stretch of a metaphor, but it serves to remind us of the answer to the question posed by Isaiah – Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
And you too, if you have accepted what Jesus the Messiah did on the cross to pay the price for your freedom.