A soldier is trained to carry out their mission, overcome their enemy, and endure to the end. Imagine if you were at war and carrying out orders from your commander to carry out covert operations behind enemy lines. You would be on high alert, be suspicious of any interaction with others, and be unwavering in the mission. This is commendable and to be celebrated, but what if the war was actually over and you were still on a mission without a cause?
This was the case when Lieutenant Hiroo Onoda was on a covert mission in the Philippines under the direction of his Japanese commander. You can research this history for yourself, but the sad reality is that he continued to fight and stay on mission for three decades after World War II had ended. Following several attempts to get him messages that he discounted as covert propaganda from the enemy, he was finally convinced.
While this story seems unbelievable, it is not very dissimilar to many of us who are on a mission for God and at war with the Enemy. We fight with guilt from our past and work as if our freedom is up to us, when in fact we are forgiven and free because of what Jesus has done for us.
This is implied as we read Hebrews 10:11-18. The writer of Hebrews calls out priests who continue to operate with a sacrificial system and under rituals that have been abolished by the death and resurrection of Christ. He has graciously provided a way, when there seemed to be no way, and His one-time sacrifice has fully atoned for our sins. Once and for all!
This gift of life is not because we deserve it but because He loves us. Still may live in denial and disbelief, like Lieutenant Hiroo Onoda. We fight the way we always have and refuse to accept that Jesus has already completed the mission. I encourage you to recognize what Jesus has done, repent of doing it alone, and rest in His freedom and forgiveness today.