The German Axis was imploding. Italy had fallen to the Allied Army and its Fascist dictator Mussolini was imprisoned in an impregnable fortress high on the side of a mountain. Hitler needed a sensational reversal of fortune in order to rally the sagging morale of the Third Reich.
He turned to the head of his elite Special Forces unit, Otto Skorzeny. “Liberate Mussolini!” Do the impossible. Demonstrate the superiority of the German military.”
And amazingly, that’s exactly what Skorzeny did. In a stroke of daring and brilliant strategy he crash-landed gliders filled with his commandos into the mountain stronghold that held the Italian dictator. The world was electrified by the news that Mussolini had been rescued by his German partners.
Jesus Christ was given a far more daunting job than Otto Skorzeny’s. “Break into the stronghold of darkness and set the human race free,” ordered God the Father. And Jesus did exactly that.
The surprise was in the way He carried out His mission. He did the inconceivable. He crash-landed Himself into the fortress of sin at the cross. He sacrificed Himself to set all humans free from the bondage of their own choices. He broke the stranglehold of our kingdoms of self-in-control with the radical tactic of self-denial and self-sacrifice. In so doing He reinvented heroism.