As we celebrate Memorial Day again this year, it is important to remember that it was for our sake that our fellow-countrymen have given their lives in service to our country. These fallen heroes of our land are the focus of our remembrance today, but do we fully grasp that their deaths were for us?
It’s easy to get distracted on Memorial Day when you don’t have aloved one whose life has been lost in service to our country. The day becomesmore about sleeping in, shopping the great sales, and having a picnic than rememberingthe reason we have this freedom is because of the high cost that was paid. Tothose who have experienced this grievous sacrifice of losing a loved one whowas serving in our military, nothing can keep their minds and hearts from themany emotions such as anger, hurt, pride, or even self-pity that occupanciesremembering their loss. Their memories could never be contained on one day.
As I read Romans 8:36, “As it is written: For your sake we face deathall day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered,” I wasable to connect better to the honor of Memorial Day. I don’t have a closefriend or family member who has died serving our country to remember today, butI do have a personal connection to each of my fallen countrymen. They died formy sake. They may have never known my name but their deaths affected my life.My freedoms depend on their sacrifices. It is for my sake that today there aremillions of military serving on all continents. I have a personal connectionto the work they are doing. I want to remember them all day and pray for thefamilies who have lost loved ones in the battle as well as for those who areserving today.
Romans 8:36 is quoting Psalms 44:2 which is referring to the heroes of a differentnation, the nation of Israel. It is also referring to the death of our SaviorJesus Christ who was lead like a sheep to the slaughter and by dying and risingagain conquered sin for us. Why did Jesus do it? For my sake; He didn’thave any personal sin to pay for. In Romans 8:36 Paul was writing to the Christiansin Rome and describing the Christian life. In this verse he was revealing thereality that he too faced death for the sake of those who had not heard of thegospel.
As you celebrate another Memorial Day, take some time to remember. Remember ourmilitary, those who have given their lives and leave behind families who aregrieving their loss, those who have been wounded, and those who are serving today.Remember the One Who gave all for your sake, your Savior Jesus Christ. Rememberthat Christian maturity is about being like Christ and living your life not justfor your own sake, but for the sake of others.
Happy Memorial Day!