Although VE Day was not until May 8th, 1945 many students and historians have remarked that victory in Europe was assured on June 6th, 1944 – D-Day. On that day, some 1,000 ships carried approximately 200,000 soldiers across the English Chanel to commence a devasting attack on the enemy forces. After reviewing the success of that day, the objective observer knew that it was only a matter of time before victory could be celebrated. It was not a matter of “If” but “When”. In anticipation of victory, the term VE Day existed as early as September 1944. Thus, the difference between D-Day and VE-Day was just time.
Yet, for those Allies fighting in the trenches and enduring the harsh realities of conflict, it did not always seem like they were on the victory side. The enemy was still extremely active and landing some fearsome blows. Yes, the result was known but the war was still going on.
The Christian’s D-Day
When the history of this world is surveyed, using God’s Word as our lens, we can see that momentous events have secured the future.
The coming of the Lord Jesus Christ was crucial. For thousands of years the whole world seemed to be in a hopeless and helpless state. Death and sin seemed to reign; there was no one who could conquer them. For mankind sin meant separation from God and thus no positive relationship with Him. After death those who were guilty of sin (all of us) would face the ultimate consequence and just penalty for our sin.
Yet when the Lord Jesus came to earth here was a man who was untouched by sin. The verdict of scripture is unequivocal:
“‘who knew no sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
“In Him there is no sin” (1 John 3:5).
“Who committed no sin” (1 Peter 2:22).
The marvellous grace of God is seen in that He came to our rescue in human form, and has fought the pivotal battle of the great war, against death and the devil. Unlike 6th June 1944, when hundreds of thousands of troops stormed the French beaches, some 2,000 years ago one sinless man went to a cross outside Jerusalem and there accomplished a great victory. Although a crucified man upon a cross may look anything but victorious, scripture declares that He was:
“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit” (1 Peter 3:18).
Jesus Christ took the punishment for sin upon the cross. He who had committed no sin took the punishment of those who had sinned. The consequence of this victorious work is that anyone who trusts Jesus Christ is reconciled to God and will never be punished for their sin.
Although our great enemy, the devil, wants to keep everyone away from God, he has been defeated and cannot achieve his purposes. The resurrection of the Lord Jesus shows that He has defeated death and heaven is pleased with His finished work on the cross. For the followers of the Lord Jesus, the devil has been rendered ineffective. On the cross the Lord Jesus accomplished all that He intended.
“For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8b).
The Christian’s VE Day
All those who have confessed that Jesus is Lord and have placed their faith in Him can be assured that there will be a great victory celebration. They have a great salvation and a certain hope that their best days are yet to come. All the blessings of eternal life have been secured for them, some of them can be appreciated now and all of them will be perfectly enjoyed in the future.
The Christian has been saved from sin’s penalty.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8).
The Christian is being saved from sin’s power.
“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18).
The Christian will be saved from sin’s presence.
“Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him” (Romans 5:9).
Based on the promises of the Lord Jesus, the glorious hope of the believer is to be in heaven with Him.
“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:3).
There will be a time of celebration that will dwarf a thousand VE Days. But it maybe does not always feel like that!
The present interval
We live between D-Day and VE Day. Just as, post D-Day, the allied soldiers fought their way through Europe and experienced battles and disappointments, so now the believer will experience difficulties.
The war is still on and there are injuries and casualties of all kinds. After D-Day, despite knowing he would be defeated, Hitler unleashed all his available resources to harm those who would be victorious. During this present interval the defeated foe, the devil, will seek to inflict misery, pain and doubt on the believer. Through lies and deception he will do his utmost to blind the unbeliever to the truth.
Just like the soldiers who experienced the harsh realities of conflict after D-Day, we need the constant reminder, ‘Victory is assured, there will be a VE Day’. Due to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus even the great threat of death does not hold the fear that it once held.
“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).