TALKING THE LIVING HERO OF HEROES ON INDEPENDENCE DAY
On 18 April 2021, Zimbabwe celebrates forty–one years of national independence from the bondage of colonialism, a sweet feat of the bitter sweat of our liberation war. Due to government and World Health Organisation measures set in attempts to withstand the spread of Covid–19, some of us may attend different independence festivities virtually or physically. Some in turn, may find nothing much to celebrate about in face of the political and economic challenges that have stricken our beloved nation for decades.
A Story Of Blood
Nevertheless, special days mark precious events, people and processes that people cherish. Likewise, Zimbabwe’s Independence Day usually gets most Zimbabweans commemorating a story of the blood of gallant men and women that was shed, and lives of living heroes sacrificed for the liberation of black Zimbabweans.
Independence Day comes shortly after Easter when the majority of Christians celebrate the priceless story of the blood of a God-Man who liberated us from sin and begot us eternal and abundant life. This article observes the criticality of Independence Day and points beyond the dead and dying human heroes to the living and undying hero of heroes – Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour.
He Offered Himself as Living Sacrifice
It is thought provoking to note that those valiant men and women who sacrificed their lives for Zimbabwe’s independence carried guns, and related weapons to fight, and defend themselves. Jesus Christ carried the cross, not to fight and defend Himself, but to offer Himself as a living sacrifice for man’s redemption from sin, and the restoration of his relationship with God the father. Our heroes and heroines got support from our grandparents and parents who provided food, and moral support to soldier on, while our Lord Jesus Christ stood alone even as some of his disciples like Peter, rejected him (Mathew 26:69–74), possibly in fear of tragic victimization. Even God the Father forsook him as he carried man’s sins (Mathew 27:46, Psalms 22:1). God is Holy, and he does not condone sin, only Jesus Christ’s blood could set mankind free (Hebrews 9:22–28). While our great combatants got some support from other countries which sent soldiers to contribute towards our liberation, Jesus Christ stood alone for our sake.
Jesus The Greatest Hero of Heroes
As many commendably join in commemorating our national Independence Day, this writing calls us to reflect beyond our brave liberation heroes and heroines. Their fight and defences did not only lead to their deaths, maiming or injuring of those still living, but also injured, maimed, and killed countless colonial others. Reflections beyond that, takes note of the immeasurable sacrifice of Jesus Christ who never injured, maimed, or killed anyone in the process of bringing holistic liberation from sin and life beyond the grave to eternity!
The greatest hero of heroes, Jesus Christ never attacked or defended himself! He never hid himself from crucifixion! The Bible tells us that he submitted himself to death…
Philippians 2:8, “And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross”;
and Luke 23:46. “And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost”.
He knew that he was going to die, and presented himself to be tortured, humiliated, and killed for man to be set free from sin, and to receive God’s gift of eternity! What a masterful veteran hero of heroes! Respect and honour is worth the liberation heroes who contributed to Zimbabwe’s national independence from colonialism. Even more, our hope is that they too submitted their lives to King Jesus, the Christ whose liberation does not only free mankind from earthily colonialists, and give limited independence, but rather provides spiritual, eternal, abundant freedom from sin, the devil and hell, to salvation and heaven!
As we celebrate and or reflect about our national independence, let us remember that this human liberation was attained through deadly attacks and defence, while divine liberation happened in a ‘sheep’s way’, i.e. as a sheep that was taken to the slaughter in peace without fighting back (Isaiah 53:7, “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth”. This, God’s freedom is not exclusive, but graciously inclusive as Jesus Christ spoke forgiveness for killers (Luke 23:34), avoiding retaliation while eventually conquering death and evil in lovely peace.
As Jesus Christ showcased immeasurable love and grace at the cross, may we go beyond honouring our departed and living heroes, to believe in, witness and emulate the living and undying hero of heroes – Jesus Christ, the King of Kings who achieved for man what no human hero could ever accomplish; submit to him and worship him our LORD and King!