It is a beautiful Lord’s Day here in Western North Carolina. The weather is warm and the sun is up. As we prepare to head out to the Lord’s House this morning, millions more are heading out on vacation. It is, after all, Memorial weekend. Memorial Day is a time set aside to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. it is a day when we remember those who died in battle that we might live our lives in freedom. I am grateful for the sacrifice of the 1,167,146 men and women who gave their lives on fields of battle around the world so that I might live free in this great nation. Please take a minute to think about those who died so that you might be free.
• Revolutionary War – 25,324
• Civil War – 498,332
• World War I – 116,710
• World War II – 407,316
• Korean War – 54,546
• Vietnam War – 58,098
• First Gulf War – 293
• Operation Iraqi Freedom – 4,718 – (Iraq thus far)
• Operation Enduring Freedom – 1,788 – (Afghanistan thus far)
While it is fitting and good that we remember those who died for our nation, let us not forget the One Who died for our sins! As we contemplate victories in war, let us not forget the greatest Warrior of them all. Let us not forget the Lord Jesus Christ and the day He hung upon the cross at Calvary. May we never forget the pain He endured in our place. May we never forget that He absorbed the wrath of God in His body for us. May we never forget that He bore our sins, paid our debt, endured the wrath that was rightfully ours, and that He did it all because He loved us and because it brought Him joy. So, pause to remember the dead today, but as you do, pause to remember the death of Jesus. As you remember His death, remember that after He died on that cross, He was buried in a tomb. Three days later, walked out of that grave victorious over death, Hell and the grave. Our Hero died for our sins, but He is alive and well today. Here is what He said about His death and resurrection: “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” (Rev 1:18 KJV) Meditating upon His death, His burial and His resurrection is a worthy way to spend this Memorial Sunday.