For more than one hundred years, the United States has celebrated a special day in honor of the men and women who died in America’s wars. Originally called Decoration Day and now known as Memorial Day, it seeks to ensure that the sacrifices of America’s fallen military heroes are never forgotten.
As some have correctly observed, we are the land of the free because of the brave.
Almost two thousand years ago, however, a different war was fought. It involved both natural and supernatural forces, and what hung in the balance was greater than anything we could ever imagine – not our freedom, nor our security, but our souls.
In that war, there was only one combatant and only one casualty. His name was Jesus, and He was the Son of God.
Like many who go into battle, Jesus knew what He was risking. However, unlike any other soldier, Christ embraced His death as necessary for the salvation of the entire world:
“‘Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.’ He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die.” (John 12:31-33, NIV)
It is altogether fitting and proper that we honor America’s fallen heroes. But, even more so, and not just for one day but always and forever, we must honor our Savior, Jesus Christ, whose death gave us eternal life (John 3:14-17) and whose resurrection gave us living hope (1 Peter 1:3-4).
This year, let us use Memorial Day to remember the great sacrifice that others have made for us, but let us also remember the greatest sacrifice of all, when “God made him who had no sin to be a sin offering for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21, NIV).
-- Dr. John Morris