Sermon Illustrations

Private First Class Milton L. Olive III was born November 7, 1946 in Chicago, Illinois. He died on October 22, 1966, just shy of his 20th birthday in Phu Cuong, Vietnam. The citation for his Medal of Honor reads as follows:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Pfc. Olive was a member of the 3d Platoon of Company B, as it moved through the jungle to find the Viet Cong operating in the area. Although the platoon was subjected to a heavy volume of enemy gunfire and pinned down temporarily, it retaliated by assaulting the Viet Cong positions, causing the enemy to flee. As the platoon pursued the insurgents, Pfc. Olive and four other soldiers were moving through the jungle together when a grenade was thrown into their midst. Pfc. Olive saw the grenade, and then saved the lives of his fellow soldiers at the sacrifice of his by grabbing the grenade in his hand and falling on it to absorb the blast with his body. Through his bravery, unhesitating actions, and complete disregard for his safety, he prevented additional loss of life or injury to the members of his platoon. Pfc. Olive’s extraordinary heroism, at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty are in the highest traditions of the U.S. Army and reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of his country.

Milton Olive sacrificed his life, so that his four buddies could live. Army records reveal that Milton’s four fellow soldiers survived the war and returned home. His sacrifice was rare and incredible. But, his sacrifice was not unique. It is not beyond our understanding. Other soldiers have sacrificed their lives for their buddies. Soldiers are trained to watch out for each other and in the intensity of the moment, training and instinct and love take over.

Now, listen to something that does surpass our understanding.

For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life. Rom. 5:10

We were God’s enemies. Jesus threw Himself on a grenade (the cross) for his ENEMIES: you and me. That is holy love. A better analogy is if one of the Viet Cong soldiers on that day in 1966 threw himself on the grenade and saved 5 American soldiers.

Related Sermon Illustrations

Related Sermons

Browse All Media

Related Media