I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. ~ John 10:10 (EHV)
Written by Pastor Paul Ziemer
WELS National Civilian Chaplain and Liaison to the Military
A kill zone is the primary target area for a military ambush. It can also refer to the blast radius for an explosive weapon such as a grenade or bomb, or anything else that kills. It’s a dangerous place. We should avoid it. But we cannot.
We live our entire life on earth in a kill zone.
Maybe earlier we could forget this. While we knew everyone will someday die, it was easier, back then, to pretend it only happened to others.
We can pretend no more.
Those who have spent time in combat have already learned this. No matter how young they were, or how good their weapons, they knew getting killed was always a distinct possibility.
It changed the way they thought about living and about dying. They knew they lived in a kill zone.
People who live far from battlefields tend to think they live in a safe zone. They hear no weapons of war. They seldom see stretcher bearers at work. Surely, they are safe.
They are not.
The whole world should realize by now that there is no place completely safe. The very air we breathe can kill us. The old hymn had it right: “I walk in danger all the way.”
Everyone on this planet lives in the kill zone.
It has been this way since our first parents were driven from Eden and angels were sent to bar access to the tree of life.
Earth had become infected with the virus of sin. It brought death to everyone it touched.
Human eyes alone are not able to detect the coronavirus. A victim may not even know he has been infected. He may ignore the symptoms. But untreated, it can be deadly.
It’s much the same with the sin virus. The lab report is in from heaven. Rebellion against the holy God has been detected in the entire human race. Sometimes it reaches a fever pitch.
We don’t need to take a test. We already know what God sees. Our conscience tells us. His Word confirms it: We are dead men walking.
It’s only a matter of time before our hearts stop. Each day inches us closer. The warning words rush back into our minds: “Dust thou art…”
If the coronavirus doesn’t get us, something else will. The future? Looks hopeless, doesn’t it?
The prognosis for our soul is no better. Sin already infected us in our mother’s womb.
It is not! The hope is real. Our hope is certain. It’s based on this: That which is dead can come to life again. That’s the official declaration from the Giver of life.
The Son of God explained why he came to live and die on this planet: “I came that they may have life…”
Who are the “they”? We are.
How long of life? How complete of a life? What kind of life?
“And have it abundantly.”
Those who put their faith in him receive new life for their soul. Those who put their faith in him receive new life for their bodies.
“I will come back and take you to be with me” he said, “that you also may be where I am” (John 14:3).
We don’t just live until we die. We live until we live again—till we live anew.
A squad of angels will extract us from the valley of death. We will receive a hero’s flight.
We will leave the kill zone. We will leave as victors.
Creator and Savior God, the signs of death surround us. We watch the rising numbers of those who have succumbed to a new infection, but we know that’s not the full count of the dying. We know there will finally be no survivors left on this planet. We wait for you to come back for us. We stand our watch until then. Amen.