Memorial Day is a time to honor those who have given their lives in the service of our country. Men and women who were dedicated to a cause much larger than themselves paid the price for what they believed. Our nation’s freedom was worth whatever price they had to pay to establish and maintain it. They saw a need and gave themselves for it. They made the sacrifice, and we enjoy the benefits. Once a year, a grateful nation reflects on these great warriors.
There was the ultimate warrior against this creation’s most profound problem. It enslaves and disables billions of people every day. It will eventually destroy them. Trillions of dollars are spent in unsuccessful attempts to solve the symptoms. They do not touch the cause. Only the Lord can do that. There is just one issue, and there is no other solution.
He shared eternity with His Father (John 1:1). It had been an eternally harmonious relationship of equality (Philippians 2:6), and sin was such a traumatic problem that the solution demanded Him to relinquish that position. He stepped into the world to resolve a destructive force. The Son of God became a servant to liberate slaves. It cost Him His life.
He spent most of His life in an unnoticed corner of the world. Occasional trips into Jerusalem provided hints that He was no ordinary kid, but He spent most of His youth as the carpenter’s boy. He didn’t occupy the spotlight. Not much is known about those first three decades of His life. Just one fact is certain, but it is a remarkable one: He never sinned. A guilty one could never have saved other guilty ones. The sacrifice had to be perfect.
His public ministry was marked by both compassion and controversy. The sinful loved Him. They finally found someone who cared about their deepest need and offered a solution not condemnation. He didn’t fling rocks: He offered forgiveness. He had a soft spot in His heart for the outsiders and the guilty. Are we listening? We are the sinners and outsiders. He cleanses us and ushers us into the family of God.
The religious aristocrats of the day grumbled. They enjoyed the status of being elite. The notion that they might have to give that up was totally unacceptable. Storm clouds of opposition gathered quickly as He butted heads with the establishment. Their frustrations turned them into a mob. Death was on their mind. It was in the Lord’s, too. They were thinking termination. He was planning liberation. They never anticipated the empty tomb. Freedom came through the blood of the Son of God. He gave His life that we might have life. That is memorialized on the first day of every week in the Lord’s Supper, remembering the one who died to solve our greatest problem. Thank you, Lord.