World War II ended when the Japanese surrendered in August 1945. Yet dozens of Japanese soldiers held out for years, not knowing or not believing the war was over. The last two confirmed holdouts surrendered 29 years later!
Intelligence officer Hiroo Onoda was relieved of duty by his former commanding officer on Lubang Island in the Philippines in March 1974. Teruo Nakamaura, who was stationed on Morotaie Island in Indonesia surrendered in December 1974. These were the last confirmed holdouts. Rumors persisted of others. (Source: Wikipedia)
Here’s a story even more amazing. The Creator of the universe about 2000 years ago conceived in a young woman named Mary his very own son. The fully human and fully divine boy grew up to live a perfect life. Around the age of 30 he set out on a three-year public campaign of teaching, healing, walking on water, raising the dead, turning water into wine, and announcing he was the Son of God.
Of course, the authorities killed this crazy man. But during his Roman crucifixion, an earthquake occurred, the sun went dark for three hours (an eclipse only lasts seconds), and an old hardened Roman soldier who had seen it all proclaimed that this crucified man must have been the Son of God. Jesus died.
A soldier thrust a spear into the chest cavity to make sure he was dead. Blood and a clear substance poured out. Caring people took him down from the cross, quickly prepared him for burial, and placed him into a tomb with a large stone rolled in front of it. Officials posted trained guards there who faced execution themselves if they allowed anyone to steal the body.
Three days later, on a Sunday morning, an angel of God flicked that stone over revealing that He was not there and he had risen from the dead! The victory had been won once and for all. The war was over! Salvation is provided for all you will believe in Him. For forty days The Overcomer appeared to hundreds of eye witnesses. He ascended to heaven ready to return at any moment. (Source: Bible)
That’s why Jesus said: “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33 NLT
It is astonishing that a Japanese soldier would holdout in a cave for thirty years and refuse to believe the war was over!
Are you still a holdout? Is that cave of spiritual darkness getting old? Is fighting a war Jesus has already won seeming ridiculous? There’s a whole new world out there called heaven, are you about to miss it?
Jesus, the Overcomer, asks, “Do you finally believe?'”
John 16:31 NLT
Our Father, open up caves of disbelief, reveal to many that the war is over, and Jesus has won the battle against sin and death. Help believers to have Your peace in the many trials and sorrows this world provides. Thank-you for Jesus who is The Overcomer!