By now most of us have seen the footage: the massive statue reaching up to the sky, toppled by Iraqi citizens and U. S. troops. It was only a few years ago that Saddam Hussein honored himself by erecting the towering statue of his own likeness, but at 10:48 A.M. Eastern Standard Time on Wednesday, April 9, 2003, this likeness of the oppressor of the Iraqi people fell. Newscasters reported that Coalition Forces had wondered, at what defining moment could they rightly conclude that victory was theirs? From all indications, the toppling of the likeness of Saddam signified to the Iraqis that his reign of terror had finally ended and victory was won.
For Christians, our defining moment of victory is at the cross. It was at the cross that man was redeemed from the bondage of sin. When the apostle Paul wrote to Titus he said that Jesus "gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works." (Titus 2:14 NKJV). It was at the cross that Satan suffered defeat. Consider the words of the writer of Hebrews: "Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil," (Hebrews 2:14 NKJV). It is because of the cross that sinful man can be made right and be reconciled to God. The apostle Paul wrote to those in Rome, "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life." (Romans 5:8-10 NKJV).
I imagine that for many years to come, Iraqis who were there when the statute of Saddam fell will recount and remember their day of victory. Likewise, as Christians, each time we partake of the bread which represents the body of Christ, and the fruit of the vine which represents his blood, our minds look back to our day of victory - the day on which our Lord redeemed us at the cross.