"Always remember that Jesus Christ, a descendant of King David, was raised from the dead.
This is the Good News I preach." --2 Timothy 2:8 (NLT)
On this Memorial Day, we pause to remember the American soldiers who have given the sacrifice of life for our country. This is an honorable day of observance, since sacrifice is the crowning glory in a world history of battles and wars. Quite often, the most dramatic war stories don't always focus on the winner and loser, but instead display heroic examples of sacrifice in the throes of battle. Memorial Day was originally created to honor over 620,000 Americans who lost their lives in the Civil War, the deadliest war in history. Statistics reveal that more than half of those deaths were caused by disease rather than bullets or bayonets.
When we think of Jesus' death on the cross, we not only remember His sacrifice but also His victory in the most important battle in history which produced eternal consequences. His death was critical as God's one and only Son since He was the ONE and ONLY sacrifice that was fully acceptable, perfect and capable of saving an entire world, not just a battalion. Jesus' death was not caused by disease, yet He carried the disease of the world's sin as a cruel and burdensome weight until His sacrifice was complete. "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us..." (Gal 3:13). "He was handed over to die because of our sins, and He was raised to life to make us right with God," (Romans 4:25 NLT). Raised to life. Jesus' resurrection still stands as the most amazing, conclusive, effective and powerful victory in the supernatural battle of the heavenly realms.
God the Father sacrificed His Son not because of the call of duty, but for the cause of love. "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." (Jn 3:16) As we remember thousands of fallen heroes today, we can also look to the one risen Savior, who died as the ultimate sacrifice and now lives as victorious King!
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead," (1 Peter 1:3).
Dear Heavenly Father, today we remember those who have fallen because of duty, and we remember your great love for us as you gave your only Son to redeem us from the curse of sin and the prison of death. Thank you for those who gave and thank you for your greatest gift -- eternal life through Jesus.