June 6, 1944, one hundred and fifty-six thousand allied forces disembarked from the shores of Great Britain to engage Operation Overlord and break the stranglehold of the Nazi war machine.
More than twenty-three thousand U.S. and British paratroopers jumped from planes that day.
One hundred thirty-two thousand U.S., British, and Canadian forces disembarked from landing crafts on the beaches of Normandy effecting the largest amphibious assault in world history.
The cost in lives was staggering.
Four thousand four hundred and fourteen lives were lost and another six thousand were wounded, in the first twenty-four hours. Surely such a great price must demand an ever greater cause.
September 30, 1938, Lord Chamberlain had signed a negotiation with the Chancellor of Germany, Adolph Hitler.
He then declared from 10 Downing Street, “My good friends, this is the second time in our history that there has come back from Germany to Downing Street peace with honor. I believe it is peace for our time.”
Very quickly the British and the western allies learned you cannot negotiate with dark forces and you cannot appease evil. Just twenty months later, on May 10, 1940, King George VI appointed Winston Churchill the Prime Minister of England and the Defense Minister.
Three days after his appointment, Prime Minister Churchill addressed the House of Commons.
Remembering Operation Overload
Peace had not been realized, as Great Britain had been at war with Nazi Germany for ten months. The House of Commons resounded that day with the forceful words of Mr. Churchill,
“… I would say to the house, as I have said to those who have joined this government: “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.” We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering. You ask, what is our policy? I will say: It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: Victory! Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long, and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival. Let that be realized; no survival for the British Empire; no survival for all that the British Empire has stood for, no survival for the urge and impulses of the ages, that mankind will move forward towards its goal. But I take up my task with buoyancy and hope. I feel sure that our cause will not be suffered to fail among men. At this time I feel entitled to claim the aid of all, and I say, “Come, then, let us go forward together with our united strength.”
Six days later, he addressed all of Great Britain by radio saying, “Our task is not only to win the battle – but to win the war!”
Yes, there was a great cause for which those Allied troops were giving their very lives on the beaches of Normandy.
Evil had raised its ugly head and was about to swallow all of Europe. Ten thousand Jewish men and women were being exterminated every day at Auschwitz.
The very survival of human decency was at stake.
Seventy-five years have passed since “the longest day.” The number of men and women who remember and experienced that day are few in number.
To the vast majority of people, it is ancient history relegated to the dusty archives.
We must learn the important lesson of Operation Overlord.
- Dark forces are real.
- There is real evil in the world.
- Mankind cannot negotiate with the dark forces.
- You cannot appease evil.
The forces of darkness view negotiation and appeasement as opportunities to build strongholds and to advance their forces into areas of weakness.
There is only one way to deal with evil. It must be conquered and totally removed!
Alexander Pope wrote in his “Essay on Man, Epistle II”
Vice is a monster of so frightful mien,
As, to be hated, needs but to be seen;
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.
There was another D Day; with cost so high it staggers imagination.
On that “longest day” the forces of evil encountered the very powers of Heaven, as one man invaded the regions of darkness, itself.
His face was marred beyond recognition as evil men punched His blind folded face over and over again, mocking him and crying out for Him to prophecy.
His hair was matted with blood and his bruised and swollen face covered with blood as a crown of thorns was pressed onto his scalp and the razor sharp points pierced his brow.
Forces of darkness rained their evil upon His back and buttocks; ripping them open beyond human comprehension as the “cat of nine tails” shredded the flesh thirty-nine times.
Flesh was torn from the bone.
Blood spewed from bursting capillaries and arteries.
Nails were driven into His wrists and feet as His body hung on a rough wooden cross. Slowly life drained from Him as hour after hour He panted for air and blood oozed from His back, wrists and feet.
Late afternoon a spear pierced His side and blood and water burst from the wound confirming the Son of God had indeed died.
But, the battle was not over.
Upon His death, Jesus Christ entered the regions beneath the earth, Sheol. Lucifer, the Prince of Darkness, held the power of death.
All human beings, righteous and unrighteous were held prisoner to his kingdom of darkness.
The wicked were held in the regions of hell’s fire.
The righteous were held in the upper regions Jesus called Abraham’s bosom or Paradise.
A great gulf separated the two regions of Sheol.
Nevertheless, Lucifer held the keys of death and hell and victory seemed imminent to the dark forces.
That day, the eternal D Day, Jesus Christ died on the cross; was buried in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea; entered Sheol; and He began to preach the Gospel to those held prisoner in Sheol (1Peter 3:18-4:6).
On the third day, Jesus Christ took the keys of death and hell from the hands of Lucifer.
He opened the gates of the upper compartment and liberated the righteous souls held in prison. He led them to heaven (Matthew 27:51-53; Ephesians 4:7-10; Colossians 2:15).
Jesus Christ left the glories of Heaven. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary. He lived among mankind being tempted and suffering in the ways we suffer.
He was confronted and tempted by the Devil and by demonic forces. He invaded the shores of planet earth and suffered the pain and the agony for one reason.
“For this purpose the Son of God was revealed, that He might destroy the works of the Devil” (1John 3:8 MEV).
Jesus Christ said, “The thief comes but for to steal and to kill and to destroy. But, I come that you might have life and that more abundantly” (John 10:10).
The forces of darkness have been defeated.
Evil has been conquered.
Now sinful hearts can be made righteous and men and women who once were sinners can be made saints. Death no longer holds us prisoner for all who believe in Jesus Christ and receive Him as Lord and Savior never die.
They simply pass from this life to be with Him eternally in Heaven.
The eternal Operation Overlord won the greatest battle known to mankind!