Thursday, July 3, 2008

Covert Rescue Missions

News agencies across the globe are reporting the dramatic and successful mission to rescue former Columbian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt and three Americans from captivity. They had been held for five years by a rebel army.

The Independent reports how it went down:

According to the Defence Minister Juan Manuel Santos, the rescue saw military intelligence agents infiltrate the guerrillas unit holding 15 hostages and then deceive them. Mr Santos said soldiers posed as members of a fictitious non-government organisation and persuaded the local guerrilla leader that they would fly the hostages by helicopter to a camp to meet with the rebel leader Alfonso Cano. Once surrounded by military commandos, the guerrillas gave up without a fight as the helicopters took the hostages to a military base. "The helicopters picked up the hostages in Guaviare and flew them to freedom. This was an unprecedented operation," said Mr Santos (1).
Sitting my car listening to the story this morning, I thought of the paralell between this event and the great rescue mission Christ accomplished after His Holy Resurrection.

According to St. Gregory of Nyssa,

Christ, being God incarnate, deliberately concealed His divine nature from the devil so that he, mistaking Him for an ordinary man, would not be terrified at the sight of an overwhelming power approaching him. When Christ descended in hell, the devil supposed Him to be a human being, but this was a divine ‘hook’ disguised under a human ‘bait’ that the devil swallowed. By admitting God incarnate into his domain, the devil himself signed his own death warrant: incapable of enduring the divine presence, he was overcome and defeated, and hell was destroyed (2).
(1) Doyle, Leonard and Lichfield, John. "Hostage free after six-year jungle ordeal". The Independent, July 3, 2008.
(2) Alfeyev, Bishop Hilarion. "Christ the Conqueror of Hell" (citing St. Gregory of Nyssa, The Great Catechetical Oration, 23-24)

1 comment:

Mike H. said...

That's pretty amazing, man... nice post.