Memorial Day was first established
near the end of the Civil War to remember the lives of the soldiers who died in
the conflict. These men paid the ultimate price to ensure the freedom of not
only the millions bound in slavery then, but also the countless millions of
unborn generations yet to come. We still remember their sacrifice and the
sacrifices of every man and woman who has given their lives to protect our
When I think about Memorial Day,
I can’t help but think of another man who gave his life so that those in
bondage could be free. His name was Jesus Christ. And his mission to this world
was simple: break the hold of sin in our life and restore us to communion with
our Triune God. When speaking to his disciples, Christ said: “Greater love has no one than this: to lay
down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13).
At the cross, Christ would show
us how great his love for all humanity really was. He paid the ultimate price
for our redemption and reunion with God. But unlike those soldiers who laid
down their lives and were entombed, the grave had no hold over our Lord. He
rose from the grave and dwelt among us, continuing to demonstrate his great
love. This example is what prompted Paul to write: “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? The
sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God!
He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 15:55 – 57).
That victory includes all who
died in service to this country. So while we honor those who gave the ultimate
sacrifice for our nation and our freedom, let’s also remember the One who gave
us victory over death and truly set us free. That victory and freedom means
that all those who have died in service to our country will live again. And that’s
something we all can remember and rejoice in.
I’m Joseph Tkach, speaking of