Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the country's armed forces.
From 1775-1783, 25,324 Patriot soldiers were killed because of the Revolutionary War.
Out of all wars in the American history, the Revolutionary war can be argued as the war that most affects us who are alive today. For without this war, none of us could enjoy the national freedoms that we enjoy as Americans today, and I doubt that many of us would even exist.
I doubt that I personally would be here. My grandfather’s family may not have emigrated from Germany to America, nor would my grandfather on my father’s side have emigrated from Ireland to America – because America would not exist. Both, my mother and father – if they even existed – would likely not have been where they needed to be in order to meet, fall in love, and marry in order for my creation to be possible.
Tomorrow, being Memorial Day, it is fitting that we should place our hand on heart and salute the colors as they pass, not because we are necessarily happy with all things political, but because so many lives were cut short in order to give us the privilege to be disgruntled with American politics in the first place.
It is in honor of the men and women who died in the Revolutionary War that gives you the life you are blessed with.
But that is tomorrow. Tomorrow is the Day to honor America’s fallen soldiers, today is the Day that we honor Christ.
Back in the days of Moses, the Israelites were slaves in the land of Egypt. God had sent Moses to tell Pharaoh to “let my people go.” Pharaoh said “No” so God unleashed the 10 plagues against Egypt.
1. Water into Blood
3. Gnats or Lice
5. Disease of the livestock
10. Death of the Firstborn
And before the 10th and final plague – the death of all the first born – God instructed Moses how the Israelites could avoid being caught up with the Angel of Death.
1The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, 2 “This month shall be for you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year for you. 3 Tell all the congregation of Israel that on the tenth day of this month every man shall take a lamb according to their fathers' houses, a lamb for a household. 4 …according to the number of persons; according to what each can eat… 5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male a year old. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats, 6 and you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs at twilight.
7 “Then they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. 8 They shall eat the flesh that night, roasted on the fire; with unleavened bread and bitter herbs they shall eat it. 11 In this manner you shall eat it: with your belt fastened, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. And you shall eat it in haste. It is the Lord's Passover. 12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the Lord. 13 The blood shall be a sign for you, on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt. 14 “This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord; throughout your generations, as a statute forever, you shall keep it as a feast.
God provided the Passover Lamb, for all of the Israelites, so that they could be excluded from the destruction that was going to come upon them. When the Angel of Death came upon the houses with the lamb's blood on the door jambs, the angel would “Passover” that house, and all the people inside would be saved from the death that it brought. And the 10th day of the first month was to be for them a “memorial day – a feast to the Lord.”
So now, skipping ahead from the Book of Exodus (the 2nd book in the bible) and going to the Gospel of Luke (the 42nd book of the bible), some 1500 years to the time of Jesus, we see a familiar seen.
Jesus, per the Jewish religion, is partaking in the Passover Meal and remembering the Day that God delivered the nation of Israel from their slavery in the Land of Egypt. Jesus himself was remembering the Memorial Day that God established some 1500 years previously.
And Jesus, being Emmanuel (God with us), took the opportunity to change things up a bit when he did…
14 And when the hour came, he reclined at table, and the apostles with him. 15 And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” 17 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves. 18 For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” 19 And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 20 And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.
In saying these things, Jesus effectively changed the program and told them that no longer would it be the blood of a lamb on the doorposts that saves them, but the his own blood which he would pour out on His Cross the next day.
Of course, they did not understand what our Lord meant, but they would, as they continued on in their lives of faith in God and His Messiah.
It is fitting that we remember Jesus on Memorial Day, because He died on the Cross that we might be be covered in His blood and passed-over during the Final Judgment of God. Jesus was not a soldier in the United States armed services but as people of faith we should remember His death for us all the same.
I will close here with the words of St. Paul to the Corinthian church some 25 years after Jesus death.
2 And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. 2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, 4 and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
(1 Corinthians 2:2-5)
It is in the resurrection from the dead that we remember the ultimate power of God, in Jesus Christ our Passover Lamb.