Despite its stirring theme tune one of our favourite Christmas movies, The Great Escape, is a tragic tale. It tells the story of Allied airmen who tunnelled their way out of Stalag Luft III during World War Two. Of the 76 who escaped only three made it back to England and of the rest fifty were executed. When the war was over a detective, Wing Commander Bowes, was sent to Germany to find those responsible. But seven months and 250,000 interviews later not a shred of evidence had been uncovered. That all changed in March 1946 when a former Gestapo officer finally started to talk. Arrests, trials and convictions followed.
It goes to show what determination and dogged persistence can achieve in the search for truth. So it is that Luke introduces his Gospel with this explanation, ‘I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning… to write an orderly account for you… so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught’.
Luke’s diligence in compiling the truth about Jesus, gives us confidence that this Christmas we will not be remembering a fairy-tale but a life and death struggle for freedom which ended with the greatest escape of them all!