By Anthony Casperson
The idea of surrender has a very negative connotation. We hear the word “surrender” and automatically hear it coming from a gruff voice of a bad guy right when the heroes have gotten into deep trouble. Or, we hear it coming from the heroes as they got the upper hand on a single enemy.
The one surrendering is in trouble. The enemy has them in their sights and is ready to kill them. There’s nothing left to do, but give up, lose hope, and prepare to die. Surrender means defeat. It means we will never find peace again.
At best, surrendering is a ploy to bide time until escape can happen. Novels and video games have both used this tactic to create some suspense only to have victory come from the false surrender. But a true surrender seems to be unheard of. To admit defeat would mean the end of everything.
But there was a time where defeat wasn’t the end. A time when defeat brought peace.
As we continue our time in the Advent season, we’re looking at the cross, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. On that cross, Jesus appeared to be defeated. And the death was no fakery. But with the resurrection, death was defeated. From Jesus’ defeat, victory came for all of us. A victory that leads to peace for us. A victory that can only be found if we surrender.
When we come to follow our Savior who died on that cross, we surrender everything to God. In order for us to become his, there has to be no part of us left for ourselves. We must surrender our dreams, our way of life, our possessions, our time, our energy. To come to that place of victorious defeat, we hold nothing back from him.
But this surrender doesn’t mean the end any more than the cross meant defeat for Jesus. Because of the resurrection, the victory over death, we have peace. Peace that comes from having a proper relationship with God opened to us. Peace because death, destruction, and darkness no longer hold sway over us. Peace because our surrender doesn’t mean we lose, but rather are given more than we could ever imagine.
Interestingly, while I was writing this post, a song I’ve heard many times before came on. These words are from “Savior” by Skillet:
There's nothing left to lose
There's nothing left to prove
Surrender your love
It's all you can do
When we come to the cross of Jesus, we have nothing to lose because he is the great provider. At the cross, there is nothing to prove because Jesus paid it all. The only thing we can do at the cross is surrender and discover the peace of God.
Jesus is more than we could ever want. Our Savior from destruction. But it comes when we surrender to him. When we pull out the white flag, bend the knee, and live in his peace.