How far would you go to save the life of someone near and very dear to your heart? Would you use all your time and resources to do so? How about… even sacrificing your own life?

Rhetorical question; if you cared about them at all, of course you’d at least look into it for them.

But… What about an enemy? Someone who hunted you down like an animal? Someone who attacked and tried to murder you cold-blood– yet you knew, deep, deep down, that they too were human, just like yourself? Or even someone even associated with the enemy? Would you still risk your neck for them? Still sacrifice your life for them?

In the Hunger Games series, a young woman, infamously known now as Katniss Everdeen, sets the stage for an interesting, dramatic survival after she selflessly sacrifices herself by volunteering as tribute for her beloved sister, to partake in a very brutal, wickedly gory blood bath known formally as “The Hunger Games”. In it, she faces all sorts of obstacles and trials, from a thoroughly corrupt government, to other tributes trying to murder her. It is easy to see that, initially, a major theme of the series is, “Only protect your loved ones. But do whatever it takes to survive, yourself.” But Katniss ends up defying this major theme, in risking her own life to protect Peeta, an eventual “lover-turned-killer,” the latter being courtesy of the corrupt gov’t, the Capitol. She didn’t have to protect him, she knew her life was at stake– yet she chose to do so anyways, knowing that the real enemy wasn’t him but the corrupters. The Capitol. She even chose to spare the Capitol children at the end of the series, even though many wanted vengeance for the Games, and wanted to see how the Capitol children would like to fight to the death.

I like to think of Jesus as our Tribute. He knew we were never meant to be His enemy, that we are the crowning glory of God’s Creation on earth. But we’ve fallen. Become corrupted, just like Peeta. Cast into a cruel game of sin, death, and hate. It got so bad that we convinced ourselves He was a threat, not our replacement for the cruel punishment of sin that should’ve been ours– and we killed Him. All while torturing, taunting, and trying to discourage Him– no better than the career Tributes did to Katniss. But Jesus loved us, still does, so much He was willing to volunteer to be Tribute. While not ignoring our innately sinful natures, He looked upon each of us with utter compassion and grace. He knew that we weren’t actually the real enemy, but simply separated from God because of sin, deluded as Peeta and the careers were; just as Katniss had been told repeatedly throughout the series, “remember who the real enemy is,” Jesus also knows who the real enemy is: Satan and his cronies.

To all my tributes (humans) out there, who are still fighting the battle: Let the Mightiest Tribute of them all volunteer Himself for you. Let Him take your place in the Hunger Games of Death and Sin. Align yourself wisely, and know, I mean TRULY know and be aware of, who the REAL enemy is.

Romans 5:7-8, NKJV: “For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  

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