The United States has set aside a day to remember those whose life was lost in service to their country. Such a great sacrifice should be acknowledged, remembered and honored.
The sacrifice is one that was done so that men could have the freedoms that are enjoyed. Everyone should take time to think about the sacrifice.
To some Memorial Day is only a day for recreation and family gatherings. While those things are not bad in and of themselves, such a day deserves respect and contemplation of its meaning.
There is another who has given his life in sacrifice to all, and that one is Christ. His sacrifice was freely given so that all men can enjoy eternity. Sadly, many do not remember his sacrifice, don’t understand the importance of his sacrifice, and don’t realize that without it no one could have eternal life.
By not remembering this sacrifice, they fail to listen to his words, as he lovingly encourages them to follow him. He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).
On another occasion He said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matt. 11:28- 30).
Jesus came to seek out lost men (Luke 19:10), to show them the way, and to give himself for man’s salvation. How could such a sacrifice be overlooked or taken for granted?
Jesus knew when he left heaven why he was coming to the earth. The promise of his coming goes back to the time of Abraham (Gen. 12:1-3) and was alluded to in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3:15).
When one studies the prophets, it is seen that they kept telling the world that a savior was coming. Some did not accept Jesus when he was upon the earth, they chose to ignore him, and not listen to his message.
He came to save man and it is seen in his words. As a shepherd cared and still cares for his sheep. Those who will follow Christ know that he provides spiritual leadership through his word, leadership that tells of how to become a part of the family of God and how to remain in that family.
He has given man his word to show them the way. “I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine” (John 10:14).
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: (John 10:27).
“But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd” (Matt. 9:36).
Jesus made the sacrifice of leaving heaven to come to the earth. He left heaven to become a servant (Phil. 2:511). That sacrifice seems unbelievable yet that was not the ultimate sacrifice he made. He suffered humiliation, beating and then the crucifixion. How could anyone fail to remember this great offering.
While Jesus was on the earth, he worked to teach people, telling them to repent for the kingdom was at hand (Matt. 4:17). His teaching was not as others of his day.
“For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes” (Matt. 7:29).
He taught of his love and concern for man, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls” (Matt. 11:29).
His great example of love and concern is hard for some to comprehend. His love shows how man should relate both to God and their fellowman.
Memorial Day is a great time for reflection on the lives of those who have given so much, but all men need to understand the importance of the Lord’s day and take the time to reflect on the life of the one who gave himself for their salvation.