“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” (Ephesians 2:13)
They were called the “Forlorn Hope.” I think these soldiers illustrate why we needed to be “brought near by the blood of Christ.”
During the Revolutionary War, the Continental Army at times deployed a body of soldiers called the Forlorn Hope. They were so named because there was almost no hope of these soldiers surviving their assignment. Made up on volunteers, these groups of soldiers were prepared to shed their blood so that the main body of the army had a better opportunity at success.
I thought of the Forlorn Hope when reading Ephesians 2:13. While the Forlorn Hope at least a glimmer of hope for survival, Jesus had no such illusions. Jesus made this clear in Matthew 20:18–19a:
 “See, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death  and deliver him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified…
Yet Jesus had an advantage. He knew that He would be raised from the dead. That’s how Matthew 20:19b concludes….“and he will be raised on the third day.”
There is another distinction between the Forlorn Hope and Jesus. The Forlorn Hope sacrificed their lives for their families, fellow soldiers and country. Jesus’ sacrifice for all people of all nations and tongues. This sacrifice required His blood, which Jesus willingly shed.
It is good to appreciate the sacrifice made by the founders of our country. It is even better to honor the One who restored all people to the Creator.
Next week we’ll explore Ephesians 3:14. Until then, the Lord bless and guide.
(These devotions are written for the congregations of the Ohio District – LCMS. To learn more about the Ohio District, go to oh.lcms.org.)