By Melody Turner
I’m a Star Wars fan, so of course, when the second a Kenobi episode came out, I made that a priority. We find Ben with a changed name, a forgotten past and someone who is simply trying to survive the threat of the Empire. He hasn’t used the force or a light saber in a decade. No wonder Darth Vader easily defeats him on the planet Jabeem.
There were a few people disappointed with Ben’s present state and “weakness,” but I think sometimes we can do this, too — hide from our purpose and bury our identity. Sometimes it’s easier to run away.
There are intense themes that reverberate through the Star Wars films that shows redemption, love, the price of power and greed, hope and sacrifice.
How far would you go to protect your loved ones? Anakin went to the dark side to save his beloved Padme (Revenge of the Sith). Han Solo tried to save his son – and lost his life instead (The Force Awakens). The entire rebel gang in Rogue One risked everything at the chance to destroy the empire. In Kenobi, we see Obi-Wan willing to lay down his life again and again for the innocents and future embodied in Luke, Leia, and the spark of the resistance.
What would you sacrifice? Thankfully, there is the Lord God who lay down His life for us to defeat evil and death. Even though there wasn’t an intense light saber battle on the rugged cross, there was a spiritual battle — one that Jesus won (no high-ground advantage required).
But what does this mean? When we see or wear the cross, the symbol of the ultimate sacrifice, what do we think of? Here is what I see:
• God’s Love (I John 3:16) — Not everyone is willing to die for people they love, but few people are willing to die for people they don’t think deserve it. “But God proves His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). But it doesn’t stop there. God has given us the right to be called His children — and we are, and in this, we have hope (I John 3:1-3)! Kind of like how Rey became adopted into the Skywalker family — though her born name was Palpatine (The Rise of Skywalker). We are all born into a world of sin and darkness, but we have this great hope in Jesus Christ our Lord.
• God’s Peace (Romans 5:1) — Do you desire peace in your life and your heart? In God’s perfect peace, we can let go. We can be still. We can trust that He is God, He is in control and His ways are bigger and better than ours. With God’s peace, we can be brave and courageous and persevere through dark and challenging times (like the “good guys” in Empire Strikes Back).
The apostle Paul had a few words to say about it in his letter to the Romans: “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ… And not only that, but we also boast in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Rom. 5:1-5).
• God’s Sacrifice (Matt. 16:24) — In Kenobi, the inquisitors use the Jedi’s code against them. They know if they prey on the weak and the innocent, perhaps Jedis will reveal themselves and come out of hiding. The Jedi know this. They have been hunted down and hiding for a decade now. The few who survived Order 66 have become fewer still and not without challenges. Yet some are still willing to take up what seems to be a lost cause. They are willing to sacrifice themselves so others might live. This makes them heroes. Jesus is the ultimate hero — He saved the entire world from eternity past to eternity future. The Avengers couldn’t even do that!
If we live like Jesus, as we are called to do, we can live a changed life: “In view of the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your true worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God” (Rom. 12:1-2).
Do you feel unequipped for this task? Don’t worry, God will not send you into battle with a broken light saber. Sometimes we may feel like Anakin — lost, destroyed, gone and empty, warped by fear, anger and hatred, blinded by power but redeemed by love. It is never too late. No one is ever too far gone. Humble yourself, repent and pray for God to change your heart. Remember that He is a God of love, peace and sacrifice.
He already promises: “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezek. 36:26).