John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”
It’s hard being on the receiving end of a great love. Someone lets you be the first in line instead of themselves, someone lets you walk through the door first, someone lets you have the last piece of pizza… It’s always humbling to receive a great love, and sometimes overwhelming. Today, we celebrate Memorial Day—honouring the lives of those who’ve given up their lives to protect our freedom. We don’t deserve such a sacrifice. They volunteer for their service to our country and sometimes die doing so.
As a veteran, I understand more than anyone that we can never do enough to merit the lives that were lost to protect and secure our freedom. Especially as a non-combatant Army bandsman. My job in the Army was support: I was a professional saxophonist who played in musical ensembles to boost the morale of the soldiers who were fighting. It was always wonderful to see my fellow soldiers loosen up and dance and drink to the music we played. The reality that we can do nothing to merit the lives that were laid down for us is the very reason why it’s a greater love.
Jesus loves us so much that He chose to die for us without us having to earn it. He did the works necessary for our salvation. Likewise, our soldiers do the works necessary to protect and secure our freedom, and nothing we ever do can earn that freedom. The price of freedom is expensive; it is paid with blood. As our American freedom has been bought with the blood of our soldiers, so our salvation—our freedom from sin—has been bought with the blood of Jesus Christ our Saviour.
As we remember and honour those who’ve laid down their lives to protect our American freedoms granted in the United States Constitution, let us also remember and honour our Lord and Saviour whose blood was shed to grant us salvation.