Scripture: Romans 7:13-25 (NIV)
Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! Nevertheless, in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it used what is good to bring about my death, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful. We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.
This passage from Paul has always rung so true to me, one that applies so often in my life. Who among us can’t relate to doing things we don’t want to do but being unable to do the things we know we should be doing? Sin so often can trap us in this cycle of guilt and anguish with no seeming way out to the path of matching our actions and our desires.
There doesn’t seem to be too much of this in Star Wars overall. Most of the players that we see want to do good and typically do so or want to do evil and, again, typically do so. However, on a large scale the Jedi order perhaps exemplified this problem during the Clone Wars. They were supposed to be guardians of the peace, not generals in an army. While they felt that what they were doing was right, that they were fighting on the right side, there was a lot of doubt about whether this was what they were really all about.
As Yoda says in one of the early episodes of The Clone Wars cartoon series (a series that preceded Rebels and ran for six seasons, mainly on Cartoon Network), “To answer power with power, the Jedi way this is not. In this war, a danger there is of losing who we are.” That is what Paul was saying as well, wasn’t it? That if we don’t fight this sinful nature, if we don’t try to live and do what we want to do, we will be come something different than what we want for ourselves.
The Jedi had no way of breaking out of their cycle, especially with Chancellor Palpatine controlling both sides of the battle. We, however, do have that option. Surrendering to Christ helps us realize that we can’t do it on our own, but Christ’s sacrifice gives us eternal life, free from sin and guilt. Accepting that helps break the loop and lets us live as truly free people.