No Longer a God

Hirohito, Emperor of Japan (1901-1989)

On August 6 and 9, 1945, the United States dropped two nuclear bombs on the nation of Japan immediately killing 120,000 people and effectively ending World War 2 in the Pacific. Six days later, Japanese citizens around the world were told that at noon, Japan time, they were to cease everything and listen to an important announcement.

At noon on August 15, 1945, the people of Japan heard a voice they’d never before heard, speaking in a dialect none of them fully understood. It was Emperor Hirohito declaring that Japan’s war against the United States was over and the Empire of Japan was defeated.

Abiding by the terms of surrender, Hirohito announced in his Declaration of Humanity that he was no longer the direct descendant of the sun goddess, no longer the divine Son of Heaven entitled to rule the world, but a mere man.

The Japanese religion of Shinto is a combination of traditional Japanese ancestor worship, Buddhism, and Confucianism. More than 80,000 Shinto shrines dot Japan where it is said the souls of dead ancestors reside, having merged together with the “divine essence” or energy. The divine essence reveals itself in nature: rocks, trees, water, people, etc. Remains of ancestors, hair, teeth, fingernails, photos, and ashes link the dead with the living in the same way the Emperor was the link between the gods and the Japanese people.

In Japan’s defeat, Hirohito lost his supposed deity and became a man. Jesus, the eternal God, took on human flesh to become the perfect Man, but never surrendered His deity.

Christ’s death appeared to be absolute defeat, but it was His greatest triumph. God appeared in human flesh to die in the place of His sinful creation. By His death He purchased salvation for all who would believe in His name. Three days later, He was raised to life by God the Father, and ascended into Heaven, where He sits at the Father’s right hand. One day, the Bible says, He will return to judge the living and the dead as the rightful King of kings and Lord of lords.

Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:9-11).

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