GREAT SACRIFICES Andy Hollifield 11-11-18
John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Armistice Day, also called Remembrance Day, was set aside to mark the end of World War 1. November 11th was chosen because the war officially ended the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918. That is when the Armistice, or truce, with Germany went into effect. It was one hundred years ago today that the first world war ended. This holiday was renamed Veterans Day on May 26th 1954 by a law signed by Dwight Eisenhower to honor the service of all US military veterans. A veteran named Raymond Weeks from Birmingham, Alabama took a delegation to see President Dwight Eisenhower in Washington and talk to the president suggesting changing the name from Armistice to Veterans Day. The idea to change the name was thought of in 1945 by Mr. Weeks. Eisenhower agreed and Weeks led the first national celebration in 1947. He was awarded the Presidential Citizenship Medal by President Reagan in 1982 prior to his death in 1985. He has been called, “The father of Veterans Day.
Veterans Day is not specifically set aside to honor those who gave their lives. That day of honor takes place in May and is called Memorial Day. All veterans are celebrated on Veterans Day regardless of length of service or whether or not they were involved in combat. Even those not in combat made a great sacrifice to purchase mine and your freedom. They still sacrificed time with their families and put aside their own best interest to serve the interest of others.
As touching of a story as this is, our veterans aren’t the first to do that. A sacrifice made for the benefit of others took place near Jerusalem in the first century between 30 and 33 AD. The death took place on a hill called Golgotha. It happened only a week after Jesus made a triumphal entry into Jerusalem to cheering crowds hailing him as king. Jesus had spent his 33 years healing people of various ailments and disease. He came to earth by way of a virgin birth as the Son of God. He wound up giving his life for the salvation of all who would accept him. He did this so that we, though undeserving, could obtain mercy from God and forgiveness of our sins. He was the one that spoke the verse in John 15 to his disciples. The initials AD stand for the Latin words Anno Domini which means “the year of our Lord”.
Jesus spent over 33 years away from his Father which was God. His death purchased our mercy from God just as the death of our veterans purchases the freedom we all enjoy. So as we celebrate in remembrance of the sacrifices and service of military veterans, don’t forget to give thanks to God not only for them but also for the sacrifice of his Son’s life for all of our sins. These veterans determined in their mind that the sacrifices they made for the good of the country were worth making. Jesus determined in his heart before the foundations of the world, that his sacrifices for the good of our souls would be worth all that he would have to go through. In Revelation 5 we can read where he even volunteered to come and be crucified and lay his life down for his friends. I am thankful that he gave me the opportunity to be his friend and was willing to make such “Great Sacrifices” for me. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!