20th August 2016

Trafalgar Day 

“For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: That the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, ‘Take eat; this is My body, which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’ In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.’ For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.’”
1 Corinthians 11:23-26 (NKJV) 

On the 21st October 1805 Admiral Lord Nelson and the British fleet defeated the combined fleets of the French and Spanish navies off Cape Trafalgar. Nelson used new and daring tactics in the battle which enabled him to negate the larger combined fleet of the other two countries. Rather than sail alongside the enemy ships, as had been the way naval battles were fought, Admiral Lord Nelson sailed the British fleet through the enemy lines. It was a pivotal battle which changed the course of history. Sadly Nelson was killed in the fighting, as were many others on both sides, but not before he could be confident that victory would be won. In the past, as late as the 1950’s, as a nation we used to celebrate Trafalgar day, but who remembers it today?

Even more important is the fact that another battle took place around over 2000 years ago which changed the future for all humanity. The victor in that battle was also killed and to the human mind it appeared the battle was lost. But the crucified Christ was resurrected, Satan and his fallen angels defeated, and the sins of all humanity were paid for in the titanic struggle that took place during Christ’s brief physical lifetime, ending in his trial and death. Christ too used new and different tactics, not coming as a conquering King with a vast army, but as a humble and ordinary human being. Of course He was also God in the flesh, so the word ‘ordinary’ is not really right. The point is that God became a flesh and blood human being, while remaining fully God, to enter into and understand all of our pressures and problems. While Jesus Christ never sinned, He understands why we do. Because He seemed to most people of that time just an ordinary human being, his tactics fooled the people, the religious and secular authorities of the day.

Such is God’s love for all humanity—the way he lived and his willingness to die changed the future for humanity in an even more decisive way than any worldly battle could, however important it may seem. Admiral Lord Nelson’s decisive win destroyed the French & Spanish fleets with which Napoleon had intended to invade the UK. His new tactics saved the nation and paved the way for Napoleon’s eventual defeat at the battle of Waterloo in 1815. But God, in love, showed humanity a better way—a willingness to give everything for us, even to die for us, and this was the greatest victory that there could be. Then through the resurrection, destroying the final enemy, death itself. Let us never forget what Jesus Christ has done, and is doing, for us. 

Our loving Father, let us never forget the price that has been willingly paid for us, even though we have done nothing to deserve it. The heroes of our nation’s past are too easily forgotten. Let us never forget, but gratefully celebrate the incredible love of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. In Jesus name.

Study by Keith Hartrick


keithhartrickAbout the Author:
Keith Hartrick is an Elder in Grace Communion Church – Leeds, and serves on the Church Council there.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion – Leeds
Garden Village Welfare Association
Community Centre
Pendas Way

Meeting Time:
Saturday 2PM

Local Congregational Contact:
Malcolm Arnold
Phone: 01484-312347
Email: malcolm701@googlemail.com

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