Landing south of Munsan-Ni on a wet, cold Easter morning, behind 20,000 North Korea soldiers, the 187th Airborne Regiment’s Rakkasans fought a brutal battle.
The image conjured up, Soldiers fighting for their lives in the rain and mud on that Easter Sunday in 1951, starkly contrasts with the image of Easter we imagine. Easter means candy, bunny rabbits, idyllic mornings with beautiful music, a special meal with Family and any number of other wonderful things.
Is this what Easter is?
And what if anything does a struggle to the death so many years ago have to do with flowers, new beginnings and spring?
Revelation 5 tells of a vision that the Apostle John had of a scroll that could not be opened. No one in heaven or on earth was found worthy enough to open it. The vision reminds us of the situation that we all face in this world. We see the state of the world, weakness and wickedness and realize our helplessness to fix the problem. But the state of the world masks a deeper problem, that humanity because of our sin is separated from God. Because of this, we are lost to lament the world but helpless to do anything about it.
On Easter almost 2,000 years ago, after dying on the cross, Jesus Christ rose from the dead. On Easter he defeated the power of death, freed his people from the judgment of God and empowered them to live a new life by his spirit.
Here we see the true nature of Easter as a bloody battle begins to make sense. The war between good and evil that has been and will be fought until the end of the world saw its greatest battle so many years ago and because of that Easter day John was told, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered (Rev 5:5).” Because of that battle, we are now able to celebrate new beginnings, life and spring on Easter. What a victory.