The posture of redemption (a lesson from WWII)

Hendan Wienand, the pastor of our church, sends out a weekly email with encouragement and news. I really enjoyed the story in this past week’s email, and thought I’d use my blog to share it a little wider. Here is what he wrote…

Many Christians understand that Jesus died for their sins, but don’t understand that as “The Scapegoat”, He also died for their shame!!

I was reminded of General Jonathon Wainwright, who was commanding the US troops on the Bataan Peninsula in the Philippines when they were surrounded and under siege. With no hope of help arriving, and with 10 000 deaths, he made the call to surrender.

Image from

Under the weight of the shame of this decision, his shoulders and his demeanour started to stoop as a prisoner-of-war (POW).

Eventually the Japanese were defeated and the POWs were released. The following is an eyewitness account of the official signing of the terms of the Japanese surrender:

English: General Douglas MacArthur signs as Su...

General Douglas MacArthur signs as Supreme Allied Commander during formal surrender ceremonies on the USS MISSOURI in Tokyo Bay. Behind General MacArthur are Lieutenant General Jonathan Wainwright and Lieutenant General A. E. Percival. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“On September 2nd General MacArthur boarded the USS Missouri in Tokyo Harbor to meet the Japanese. On the table before him were the documents of surrender and several fountain pens with which he would sign. As he approached the table he spoke into the microphone, “Will General Wainwright and General Percival step forward and accompany me while I sign.” Looking gaunt and weak, Wainwright proudly stood at rigid attention next to the British general Percival. When the moment arrived to counter-sign the historic documents, MacArthur picked up the first fountain pen and scribbled his signature. Then he turned and handed that first pen to General Jonathan Wainwright.”

Because of the actions of General MacArthur, General Wainwright’s dignity was restored. He was redeemed. His shame gone! The once defeated General, once again stood upright.

Jesus too restores our dignity, and washes away our shame… “There is now no condemnation in Christ.” (Romans 8:1)

General of the Army Douglas MacArthur and Lt. ...

The two men meet again after more than 3 years.



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2 responses to “The posture of redemption (a lesson from WWII)”

  1. gpcox says :

    Great story, but I’m afraid there was residual tension between the generals due to the abandonment.

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