Nelson Mandela was one of the most influential and widely respected men of the last 100 years. He was a strong and courageous man who fought for the freedom of his people who were oppressed by the leaders of his time. It was a fight that would cost him 27 years in prison. During his trial in 1964 Mandela gave a now famous 3-hour speech about his ideal of freedom and democracy for all, which he concluded with the words “It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”
Mandela was a rebel and outlaw, who actively opposed those in power. He was revered by many but also despised and hunted by those that sought to contain him. There was no middle ground for those around Mandela at the time, they were either drawn to his strong leadership or they feared and hated him because of his message of freedom and justice. Mandela defied a kingdom, was wrongly accused but through his suffering he won the freedom of his people.
But despite the fierceness with which he approached his oppressors he did not abuse his power when he was ultimately elected President. There was no retaliation. He ruled with a message of forgiveness, peace and love. Battle and rebellion was not his aim but it was necessary to achieve the aim of peace and freedom.
Mandela wasn’t perfect but what he stood for and what he achieved has many parallels with the life of Jesus. It is no wonder that Mandela is so universally admired and respected. For the things we admire in Nelson Mandela should serve as a reminder of the Man that defied a kingdom, fought for our freedom and was prepared to die to achieve it. Jesus.
Recommended viewing; watch the trailer of the film “Mandela; Long walk to Freedom”
Grid Ref is intended to help re-orientate men along the narrow path and are a mixture of personal testimonies and reflections from the A&D Team.