November 23, 2012 - Fall of the Wall
By Ken Horn
The Berlin Wall stood from 1961 to 1989. It was built when the Soviet sector of Berlin was divided from the other sectors that had been held by the Allies since the close of World War II. Like all such walls against freedom, the 27 miles of concrete and barbed wire that first divided the two Berlins grew in length and height. Eventually 96 miles of fortified wall encircled free Berlin. (Later a wall stretched the entire border between East and West Germany.)
The wall was continuously fortified throughout its history for the single purpose of keeping people in. Land mines were added and the wall was raised, denying those in captivity even a glimpse of their loved ones and the free world.
Many found freedom in elaborate and risky escape plots. Nearly 200 people died trying to escape Berlin; more than 1,000 lost their lives along the entire border. Countless others were injured or imprisoned for their attempts.
The wall didn't physically fall until 1990, but with the opening of the barriers on Nov. 9, 1989, this ominous symbol of a failed totalitarian system was, for all intents and purposes, history.
What joy there was as loved ones were reunited and lives of bitter existence were suddenly transformed by hope.
Paul described a similar experience in the freeing of Gentiles to become part of spiritual Israel. These verses describe the happy condition of all who have come to Christ out of a life of spiritual bondage: "You were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility" (Ephesians 2:12-14, NIV).
-- Ken Horn is editor of the Pentecostal Evangel and blogs at Snapshots (khorn.agblogger.org).