The official start to summer activities for some, a day to remember for others. Swimming pools, parks, picnics, summer break, family reunions all come to mind when we think of Memorial Day. I remember my grandmother calling it something else, Decoration Day. It was a time to decorate the graves of those departed before us as I recall in the 1960’s. In 1971 Congress formalized the holiday, officially calling it “Memorial Day”.
The tradition of decorating graves and placing memorial tributes of those fallen in battle has been around since ancient times. Here in the United States, the customs of Decoration Day can be traced back to the Civil War with various groups of people, north and south, decorating the graves of those fallen in battle.
This is a holiday to honor those who have died. This is not Veterans’ Day or Armed Services Day when we honor those who have served and those who are serving, respectively. This holiday is to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. Their own lives, and for what? So that we might be free. Freedom, an often-misunderstood concept that is ever eroding as this world’s systems of government grip tighter and tighter to reduce our freedoms and exert total control of our lives. The American soldier gave his all for what we are rapidly losing.
Let me tell you about another who gave His all, so that we might be free. This freedom does not erode and cannot be snatched away. His name is Jesus the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the Living God. This freedom is not bestowed upon anyone by birthright or by physical location. Even though it could be possessed by everyone, this freedom only comes to those who know Him, to those who are the called according to His purpose. (Ro 8:28)
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
Every person ever born, is born shackled to sin. Our freedom in Christ has release us free from the chains that once bound us. It was Christ making the ultimate sacrifice giving His life at Calvary that purchased our freedom that made right what was broken by mankind, by one man. By one man’s action, all mankind was made prisoners to sin, by another’s man’s action, we have the opportunity to be freed. The one man, the first man, Adam brought condemnation and bondage to sin by disobeying God. The last man, the second Adam whose name is Jesus bought our freedom by being obedient to God, sacrificing His life, paying a debt we owe. (1 Cor 15)
Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
In the first, earthly freedom, one must be a resident of the United States to be experienced. The second, spiritual freedom, is found by those residing in Christ. This second freedom available to whosoever:
Whosoever believe in him shouldn't perish but have eternal life.(John 3:15, John 3:16)
Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst. (John 4:14)
Whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. (John 11:26)
Whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. (John 12:46)
Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.(Acts 2:21, Romans 10:13)
Whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. (Acts 10:43)
Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. (1 John 4:15)
Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God. (1 John 5:1)
Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. (Revelation 22:17)
Notice the action words in each verse; believe, drink, believe, call, believe, confess, believe, and take. It’s not just a belief in a set of facts, it’s a belief that spurs an action.
Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
The devils act upon their belief by trembling. How will you act? Will you tremble as the devils, or will you drink, live in, call, confess and take? All this evidence of your freedom, purchased by Christ.
This Memorial Day, let us solemnly remember those who purchased our temporary, earthly freedom, the American soldier. More importantly let us remember One who gave the eternal sacrifice that can never be taken away, Jesus Christ.