O that you would tear open the heavens and come down! –Isaiah 64:1
Rescue us from the evil one. –Matthew 6:13
A couple days ago, I watched the movie 1917. If you haven’t seen it already, I highly recommend it (ideally in a space where you won’t be embarrassed uttering involuntary, audible gasps like I did.) In the film, set in France during WWI, two British soldiers are tasked with traveling on foot to stop another regiment from walking, unwittingly, into a German trap. The movie begins with these two young men ready to risk their lives in an attempt to rescue 1,600 soldiers from peril they’re not even aware lies ahead of them.
The passages we’re reading today are requests for rescue. They are prayers asking God to intervene powerfully. Sometimes these words sound more dramatic, more weighty, than I feel my everyday circumstances merit. Jesus’ words at the end of the Lord’s Prayer, “deliver us from the evil one,” and Isaiah’s desire for the Lord to “tear open the heavens,” sometimes feel disproportionately epic and cinematic relative to my own day-to-day life. And yet, like the regiment in the film, we are all in desperate need of rescue, whether we see it clearly or not. What Jesus did for us truly is an event of epic proportion. Jesus defeated death. We call Jesus “Savior” because he has rescued you and me from the snare of sin, from our own inclination to separate ourselves from God, and from walking toward the things that would harm us. Jesus instructs his followers to pray “deliver us from the evil one” because there are strong forces that would pull us away from God without Jesus’ ultimately reliable protection.
The especially wonderful news is, we don’t have to hold our breath wondering if we’ll be rescued. We already have been. Jesus’ death and resurrection sealed the deal for good. We can approach each day—regardless of how epic or mundane it may seem—rejoicing in that rescue. As we continue to pray for God’s intervention and protection (as Isaiah demonstrated and as Jesus instructed) we can live in the secure knowledge that God has defeated the enemy in definitive and permanent ways.
It can be difficult to really take in these large-scale truths. May you find moments today to marvel at the sheer scale of what Jesus’ has done. May your words, attitudes, and behaviors be motivated by the staggering reality that you have been forever rescued by your Savior, Jesus.