This May 26 we pause across the nation on Memorial Day to honor those of our service men and women who served in the Armed Forces and paid the ultimate sacrifice in giving their lives for the freedom we currently enjoy. Freedom just wasn’t handed to us but required a heavy price in blood, sweat and tears. May we ever be thankful for the blessing we enjoy and pray that the Lord will be merciful and continue to have mercy on us as a nation who seemingly have forgotten the Lord. Citizens honor the memory of those who died in defense of the country, but have they honored the Lord of glory with the same or greater zeal? I think we all know the answer to that question.
The Communion Service of the Lord’s Supper and the washing of the saint’s feet is also a Memorial Service. We do this IN REMEMBRANCE of Jesus Christ who also paid the ultimate price that God required to secure the freedom of the Lord’s beloved that were chosen in Christ but were bound under the curse and penalty of sin. Christ became a curse that sinners would be blessed as He redeemed us from the curse of the law. Paul taught this to the church in Galatia and they rejoiced in this freedom for awhile but then were taught something different and were not steadfast. Paul had exhorted them to, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” (Gal. 5:1). It is sad to say they went back into the bondage of the law in their useless effort to justify themselves in the sight of God.
Jesus gave the supreme sacrifice for our freedom from sin that would have plunged us all into an eternal hell apart from God. He has saved us from the wrath to come. When we go about our earthly activities and never think about the Lord and His sacrifice and what it meant, we do not honor the memory of that sacrifice. Solomon warns us to, “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;” (Eccl. 12:1). We are not to stop remembering as we grow older and every day should be a Memorial Day at some time (however brief) to pay tribute and honor to the One who loved us and gave Himself for us on the cross of Calvary. We are the criminal Barabbas that went free while Jesus, the innocent was condemned.–May 26, 2014-Elder Larry Wise