The War Is Over!

On December 26, 1944, Lieutenant Hiroo Onoda, an intelligence office of the Japanese Imperial Army, arrived in Lubang island in Occidental Mindoro.
He was ordered to do all he could to hamper enemy attacks on the island, including destroying the airstrip and the pier at the harbor. Onoda's orders also stated that under no circumstances was he to surrender or take his own life.[1]
Hirō Onoda. Image credit
Not knowing that World War II has already ended, Onoda remained in the jungle. Though he already got wind of the news that the war was over a month after Japan surrendered to the Allied forces on September 1945, Onoda thought it was just a propaganda. Since his commander gave him a standing order, he stayed put. 
Before and during the war, Japanese were taught absolute loyalty to the nation and the emperor. Soldiers in the Imperial Army observed a code that said death was preferable to surrender. Onoda refused to give up, despite at least four searches during which family members appealed to him over loudspeakers and flights dropped leaflets urging him to surrender. … He surrendered only when his former commander flew there to reverse his 1945 orders to stay behind and spy on American troops.[2]
Onoda was “the last Japanese imperial soldier to emerge from hiding in a jungle in the Philippines and surrender”.[3] All along he thought the war was still ongoing. But, when he surrendered in 1974, it was already over for almost thirty years.

Hire Onoda when he surrendered in 1974. Image credit.

Spiritually, the war is already over! Our Lord Jesus Christ already triumphed against His enemies on the cross.
You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross. (Colossians 2:13-15, New Living Translation. Emphasis added.)
That’s why we should not live like spiritual Onodas as if the war is still ongoing. Yes, the enemy is waging a guerilla-like battle. But the Lord has already defeated him on the cross. When He cried out, “It is finished!” (John 19:30), it was a victory cry! 

Image credit.

Of course, we still fight a battle as we advance the kingdom of God. But the war is already over. Thus, we are now fighting FROM victory and not FOR victory. 
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. (John 16:33, ESV. Emphasis added.)
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:37-39, emphasis added.)
Brothers and sisters, the war is already over!

[1]  “Hiroo Onoda,” Wikipedia, accessed June 30, 2016.

[2]  Associated Press (17 January 2014), “Japan’s last WWII straggler dies at 91,” Inquirer.Net, retrieved from

[3] Ibid.


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