Summary: This sermon using the story of a Vietnam War hero draws us into the sacrifices made on our behalf by our servicemen.


LUKE 23:26-46

26 Now as they led Him away, they laid hold of a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, who was coming from the country, and on him they laid the cross that he might bear it after Jesus.

27And a great multitude of the people followed Him, and women who also mourned and lamented Him.

28But Jesus, turning to them, said, "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.

29For indeed the days are coming in which they will say, ’Blessed are the barren, wombs that never bore, and breasts which never nursed!’

30Then they will begin ’to say to the mountains, "Fall on us!" and to the hills, "Cover us!" ’

31For if they do these things in the green wood, what will be done in the dry?"

32There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death. 33And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. 34Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." And they divided His garments and cast lots.

35And the people stood looking on. But even the rulers with them sneered, saying, "He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ, the chosen of God."

36The soldiers also mocked Him, coming and offering Him sour wine, 37and saying, "If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself."

38And an inscription also was written over Him in letters of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

39Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, "If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us."

40But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, "Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation?

41And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong."

42Then he said to Jesus, "Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom."

43And Jesus said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise."

44Now it was about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.

45Then the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two. 46And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, "Father, ’into Your hands I commit My spirit.’ " Having said this, He breathed His last.

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918,

the world celebrated!


Because World War I was over.

President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation

to celebrate Armistice Day on November 11.

In 1938, the day was declared a national holiday.

In 1954, the name was changed to Veterans’ Day

in honor of all U.S. soldiers of any war.

We have veterans in our congregation…

….Jim Hedrick & Gene Hulfachor.

To them and to all veterans we say, "Thank you!"


Today, I want to tell you the true story of Ronald L. Coker.

Ron Coker was born and raised in Alliance, Nebraska.

Shortly after high school graduation, he received his draft notice.

He enlisted in the Marine Corps.

After his recruit training, Pfc Coker was deploy to Vietnam.

He arrived there in November of 1968

Private Coker was committed to the cause of freedom

for the people of South Vietnam.

Private Ron Coker demonstrated the first quality

of the heart of a veteran,

and it was the kind of heart that Jesus Christ had.

Point #1


Look at Verse 37:

and saying, "If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself."

The crowd at the cross taunted Jesus.

"Save Yourself!"

But Jesus was committed to a cause!

He wanted to save the world through the cross.

Our veterans have demonstrated a heart committed to a cause:

§ The cause of freedom.

§ The cause of courage.

§ The cause of love of country.

§ The cause of Constitutional self-government.

Jesus Christ was committed to a cause!

Our veterans were committed to a cause!

Let me ask you a question: To what are you committed?

For what cause would you risk life?

For what purpose would you dedicate your energies…

your finances,

your time?

We honor our veterans.

But we worship our Commander in Chief.

We owe our liberty to our veterans.

But we owe our eternal lives to Jesus Christ.

We salute the flag!

But we kneel before the Christ of the cross.

Jesus Christ had the heart of a veteran


On March 24, Private Coker was walking point for a patrol

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David Dewitt

commented on Nov 5, 2012

This is an excellent message! Where did you find the story of Ron Coker?

Michael Johnson

commented on Nov 8, 2013

Tremendous Message! Powerful! Thank you so much. Mike Johnson, of Cornerstone Baptist Church

Leonard Case

commented on Nov 8, 2019

I am a Vietnam veteran and find this to be very powerful. As a veteran I thank you for sharing. God bless.

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