And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.”
One-hundred-and-seventy-eight years ago today–March 6, 1836–the Alamo fell.
In the predawn hours, after a twelve day siege and after Mexican General Santa Anna had ordered an all-out assault, the one-hundred-and-eighty-nine men who had so bravely guarded the fort died in a bloody and fierce battle that was primarily hand-to-hand. After it ended, Santa Anna ordered that the bodies of those who had fought for the Alamo be burned.
Nine days earlier, Col. William B. Travis sent a letter via courier pleading for reinforcements. As he and his watched the Mexican army growing every day, they knew that they couldn’t hold out much longer against such numbers. But reinforcements or not, Travis knew what he had to do.
He wrote: I shall never surrender or retreat . . . . If this call (for help) is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible and die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his honor and that of his country. Victory or death.
To this day the Alamo’s story still moves me. I’ve walked its halls many times, halls where the bloodiest part of the battle was fought. I cry every time.
I want to know that I would have shown the same courage that Travis and his followers did. I want to know that, when called on, I would readily die for what I believe in.
Those of us who follow Jesus are called to do just that. We’re called to set our lives aside and gladly take up the mantle of slaves of Jesus. We’re called to die to ourselves and live for Jesus.
We are called, fellow disciples, to stand with courage against the relentless onslaught of Satan. Though we feel outnumbered, though we stand alone, we are called to fight like soldiers for the name of our King and never surrender or retreat.
And yet some of us still struggle to read our Bibles and pray every day.
Friends, those heroes of the Alamo died for a great earthly cause. We are invited to live for an eternal one.
©2014 Will Davis Jr. Originally posted at willdavisjr.com