Summary: Memorial Day is the time of year that we remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. We honor them today and pray for their families. We also remember the sacrifice that Jesus made for us on Calvary.
• Memorial Day is the time of year that we remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. We honor them today and pray for their families.
• Today however, we celebrate two entities.
• The American Soldier who gave their life so that we can live in freedom, and
• Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ who gave His life for our eternal freedom!
The Civil War, which ended in the spring of 1865, claimed more lives than any conflict in U.S. history and required the establishment of the country’s first national cemeteries. By the late 1860s, Americans in various towns and cities had begun holding springtime tributes to these countless fallen soldiers, decorating their graves with flowers and reciting prayers. It eventually became known as Decoration Day. It wasn’t until after World War II that the holiday gained a strong following and national identity, and it wasn’t officially named Memorial Day until 1967. The final event that cemented the modern culture of Memorial Day in America was in 1968 when Congress passed the Uniform Holiday Act, designating Memorial Day as the last Monday in May. Nationally, The most solemn ceremony is at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.
Many see this day as just a 3 day weekend or an extra day off. But for those who have lost loved ones in war, it is much more important. All of us as Americans should take time to remember that the freedoms we enjoy are owed to the brave men and women who have died in service to our country, and to those who are serving today. Because of them, we can freely proclaim the word of God. We have the right to live at peace in our homes. We have the rights of life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness.
I. In our Memorial to Christ, we are Thankful for the Cross.
A. Thankful for the Cross
1. We also realize that we are the reason that Jesus died on Calvary.
a) Romans 3:23 says that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
2. We must recognize that we are as much to blame as the Jews who cried out for his crucifixion. He was humiliated, beaten, spit upon, and hung on the cross because we needed redemption from our sin filled life.
B. If it had only been you… Jesus would still have died for you!
1. God places GREAT VALUE on you!
2. Matthew 18:14 So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.
C. The Cross destroyed the power of sin and made grace available to us!
1. Romans 6:3-4 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
2. Romans 6:11-14 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
3. Romans 6:22-23 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
II. In our Memorial to Christ, we remember His life.
A. We should remember how he lived and what he taught. He set a glorious example of how to live life through love.
1. Our lives should reflect that love.
B. Jesus instructed us on how to live through His everyday life examples.
1. He showed love to everyone he came into contact with.
2. He healed the sick, raised the dead, and
3. Taught us by example how to live a righteous life before God.
C. He was in all points tempted as we are yet without sin…
Hebrews 4:15-16 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.