Wednesday, August 28, 2019

The Sound of Victory

      In January, 1863, Brigadier General Daniel Ullman was sent by Lincoln to Louisiana to enlist African Americans as soldiers for the Union Army.  In his general order to the officers tasked with enlisting ex-slaves he included this memorable statement,  "The first gun that was fired at Fort Sumter sounded the death-knell of slavery.

They who fired it were the greatest practical Abolitionists this nation has produced.  The decree went forth from that hour, that slavery should quickly cease to exist on this North American Continent." Quickly afterward he raised five regiments of colored soldiers.

For decades Abolitionists in the North and South had fought by voice, pen, and sometimes the sword for slavery to be abolished.  The cannonballs that fell on Fort Sumter did more to further the anti-slavery cause than the most eloquent arguments of any orator of that day.  The Confederate states believed that military force would secure their right to own slaves. They were mistaken.  The exact opposite happened.  Those cannon blasts did as General Ullman predicted, "Sounded the death-knell of slavery."

How ironic it is that the same miscalculations were also in the hearts of the enemies of Christ.  When they arrested Jesus, tried and condemned Him to death on the cross, they must have believed they had, by force, rid themselves of that troublemaker.  They were mistaken.  The exact opposite happened.
 The Scriptures reveal their folly, "This plan was hidden in former times, though it was made for our benefit before the world began.  But the great men of the world have not understood it; if they had, they never would have crucified the Lord of Glory." 1 Corinthians 2:7, 8
Wicked men sought to stop the message of Jesus.  The spiritual forces of darkness thought they had foiled God's plan. They were mistaken.  The sound of clanging metal, hammered against iron nails in Christ's hands and feet, sounded the death-knell of the power of sin and death.
"O Death where is your victory? O Death where is your sting?  But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Corinthians 15:55, 57

I am sure there was a great celebration by the Southern troops when the white flag was raised by the Federal troops within the fort.  I am also sure there was that same sense of satisfaction among the Roman guards who gambled for Christ's clothing and heard Him say, "It is finished."

History tells us that the same hand that raised the flag of surrender at Fort Sumter, Major Robert Anderson, four years later, again at Sumter, he raised the flag of a United States of America. The Word of God declares something even more powerful than that. That the same Jesus, who had His clothing ripped from Him, and had His Hands wounded by cruel nails, would someday come again, this time dressed in new garments and armed with a sword and rod of iron.
"And on His robe and thigh was written this title: King of Kings and Lord of Lords... and from His mouth came forth a sword and He shall rule the nations." Revelations 19:15, 16

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