Summary: A Memorial Day or Independence Day message that focuses on remembering the cost of Freedom from our sins.
The Cost of Freedom
We set aside time in America each year to remember some of the important dates of our history. Tomorrow is one of those days: Memorial Day. On May 30, 1868, our country observed the first day memorializing those who had fallen in battle during the Civil War. It was called “Decoration Day” at that time. In the few short years following the Civil War dozens of local observances honoring fallen Civil War soldiers had sprung up in communities across the country. Most were done by decorating gravesites with flowers.
Although many cities claim the honor, the official birthplace of Memorial Day is Waterloo, New York. On May 5, 1868, General, John A. Logan, in his role as commander-in-chief of a veteran’s organization called The Grand Army of the Republic, introduced a proclamation that “Decoration Day” be observed nationally. On May 30 of the same year it was observed and the date was chosen specifically because it was not the anniversary of a battle. The term “Memorial Day” was first used in 1882 and the observances were expanded to include all who had been lost in the time of war. The day became more widely observed following World War II and was declared a national holiday in 1967. The National Holiday Act of 1971 moved the official observance of Memorial Day to the last Monday in May.
So, this weekend and tomorrow in particular, thousands of Americans will make pilgrimages to cemeteries to remember loved ones lost and decorate graves with flowers. There are those who say that remembering should be a common spiritual exercise in the Christian life and in looking to the Word of God I would have to agree. Time and again the people of God are exhorted and commanded to remember. Over 100 times remembering or remembrances are mentioned in scripture. More than once God has instituted memorials so His people would remember: the rainbow (Genesis 9), the Passover (Numbers 9), the stones from the Jordan River (Joshua 4), numerous rituals and sacrifices, all given with the element of remembrance.
Memorial Day is a day that we set aside to remember the price that was paid for our Freedom here in the United States. It has been set aside for those men and women who have given their lives for this country. It’s a day for us to remember the price that these men and women paid for our freedom. They died for our country so that we can have the freedom to live, freedom to make our own decisions, and freedom to worship. But tomorrow as we celebrate Memorial Day I want us to remember more than just those soldiers I want tomorrow to also be a reminder of what Jesus did for us. I want it tomorrow to be a reminder to us of the cost of freedom for our Christian life. If you are free from sin today it’s because a Man named Jesus became one of us and gave His life so we could have ours spared. If you are saved today you owe it to your Lord to give Him glory and praise for what He did for you. Don’t take for granted the great salvation that we have today!
If you were to look up the word Memorial we would see that it means, an object being placed to serve as a memory of something, usually a person or an event. And church this morning I want us to leave here understanding today that when God sent His son Jesus to the earth Jesus became that Memorial for us. Read I Corinthians 11:23-26. Jesus’ life here on this earth serves as a memory to us of how much God loved us and that memory of the life of Jesus does 3 things.
I. HIS LIFE REMINDS US OF THE PAST.
This Memorial Day you and I need to remember what Jesus did for us over 2000 years ago. He left His home in heaven to come and live on this earth just so He could suffer and die a cruel death on the cross so that you and I could have eternal life. So you and I could have a way to get into heaven. Because without Him there is no other way into the gates of Heaven. This Memorial Day should remind us what Jesus did for us in the past, which was dying in our place. He took upon Himself our punishment.
It’s a shame how some of us act today when it comes to God. For some of us we act like God is dead. We often live as though He’s not worth praising or living for. This is one of the main reasons why the lost have no need for our God. Take the Israelites for example; remember what God had done for them by delivering them from the Egyptians. However, later on the Israelites had forgotten what God had done for them and they began to live as if God was dead. The Israelites began to live as the gentiles and when they began to forget how great their God was and what He had done for them they began serving false gods. Often just as we do. Many of us have begun to live like the world and for the world and we have forgotten what Jesus Christ did for us. Every time we come to church to worship, or read our Bible or pray we need to remember how lost we were and how the Lord saved us and if we do that then it won’t be so hard to praise Him and to live for Him!!!