He brought this Good News of peace to you Gentiles who were far away from him, and peace to the Jews who were near. Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us. (NLT)
When the war in the Pacific ended in 1945, soldiers everywhere started to give up fighting and get back to normal life. But one man didn’t follow the script. Lieutenant Onoda was one of a small band of Japanese soldiers who waged guerrilla warfare in the Philippines highlands. His superiors had told him surrender was out of the question.
So when leaflets were dropped into the area and various civil authorities tried to persuade him to come out of hiding, he refused. He carried on a long and lonely fight against a now non-existent enemy. He went on fighting a war that had already ended.
A bit like what happens when people ignore the offer of peace with God made by Jesus. What kept us from God has been dealt with: the guilt of our rebellion against him. Jesus extends a hand of peace to everyone if they will only accept their need of it and his provision of it.
Thinking we have no need of reconciliation with God is like going on fighting a war that has ended. There is no need to go on being at war. We need not go on playing our foolish war games. We can be reconciled to God and one another because of what Jesus has done for us. The war has ended. Peace has been declared.