Captain Lisa Jade Head, of the 11th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment was killed after a bomb she was trying to defuse in Helmand Province of Afghanistan exploded giving her catastrophic injuries. Its another story of a tragic loss of life in an ongoing conflict that has seen many thousands of Afghan innocent civilians lose their lives. A young woman’s life was snuffed out as she tried to keep the roads safe for supplies and people to pass through. All lives lost in conflict are hard to deal with, But when you hear about friendly fire incidents they somehow seem even more painful. To think that soldiers who are supposed to be fighting for justice and the protection of innocents end up killing eachother due to confusion or poor communication seems like a total waste of life. As I travel around the UK visiting churches, Christian Unions and Christian festivals it feels that many of the people that have dropped out of church have done so because of a friendly fire incident. It hasn’t been the big guns of Athiests like Richard Dawkins or Christtopher Hitchens that have argued people out of their faith it is people have lost faith because of an argument they have had with another Christian or the way they have been let down by the church.
The story of Jesus’ betrayal by Judas, shows us that jesus is no stranger to friendly fire. One of the 12 that Jesus chose has chosen to reject him. One of the 12 men that knew Jesus best has decided to betray him. They say that those that are closest to you can hurt you the most, well the betrayal of Jesus by Judas “troubled jesus in his spirit.” For me that would have been game over. John has been very careful to tell us that Passover is approaching and it’s the time when Jesus will demonstrate the full extent of his love for us and yet one of those sharing the Passover meal with Jesus is willing to stab in the back and sell him out. This would have been the last straw for me when you are trying to do something good and all you get is betrayal its enough to throw in the towel and that’s what many people have done with the church. But Jesus doesn’t react this way. Despite being let down by the very people he’s dying to save he goes ahead and offers himself up on their behalf. Jesus laid down his life for his friends even when his friends act like enemies. Its high time we learned again what it means to follow in Jesus footsteps in our relationships.
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