Memorial Day is a celebration in recognition to all the servicemen and servicewomen who have served our country by giving their lives for our freedom. It was formerly known as Decoration Day and was first enacted by a group of Union veterans (Grand Army of the Republic) to honor men who gave their lives fighting in the Civil War. It is said that all or majority of these men were black veterans and later this holiday became a national holiday celebrating all servicemen.

Just as we celebrate our servicemen for their sacrificial acts, we celebrate daily our Lord and Savior for his sacrificial death that spans broader and deeper than national and natural freedom. Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice.

His sacrificial death was holistically voluntary. Among many who gave their lives up in our country, most gave it voluntarily. Although many gave their lives for their comrads while in foxholes and many volunteered for military duty, there have been times in our history where people have been drafted. However, Jesus’ life was not taken from him, but rather He gave it up freely. Notice these four points:

[1] No one could take His life (John 19:7-12) [2] He would lay it down Himself (Matt 27:50) [3] He had full authority to lay it down (Matt 26:53, 54) [4] This was all according to the plan of God

His sacrificial death was holistically vicarious. Jesus took the place for you and I; He vicarious suffered for us. Scripture says, “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21). My father always calls this passage the great exchange.

His sacrificial death was holistically victorious. There have been those in our history who have given their lives for the freedom of individuals in our nation, yet not always through the history of our nation have all individuals experienced those freedoms. Jesus uttered three emphatic words, “It is finished.” The entire work of redemption had been brought to completion, it had been paid in full. As a result all that would place “saving faith” in Jesus would experience the victory in Him. Because

1) Jesus paid the sin debt in full (John 19:30)

2) He rose from the dead three days later (Acts. 2:23)

3) He is coming back some day as King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Heb. 9:27-28)

Thus, we remember those who have fallen serving our country on Memorial day, however everyday we remember Jesus who died, was buried, and rose again with all power in His hand also on Memorial day and every other day alike.

 

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