“O death, where is your sting? O hades, where is your victory?” The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:55-57)
A Day Of Victory
Today is a special day to reflect upon the sadness born from how liberty has been forged over the past two hundred years for every American. Freedom has never been free. It has cost the lives of thousands of men and women. War has been the blight of man since the beginning. Many reasons are given for war. Every conflict is portrayed as a noble cause but in the end, it becomes an exercise of killing. For Americans, the first warfare was to achieve separation from the English empire. Then the bloody and senseless civil war where Americans killed Americans by the thousands. Other wars have been fought throughout the world increasing the population of cemeteries. Today is a day to pause and reflect upon the sacrifices given by those who gave all.
Man has always given tribute to the fallen heroes of wars gone by. From the Greeks and the Romans, the honoring of the dead has been a part of every national consciousness. Whether we understand the reasons for war, we can understand the reality of a loved one’s death. It is a terrible price to pay. It is fitting to have a day of remembrance to acknowledge the sacrifice of a life cut short. Memorial Day is a time to reflect upon the realities of what man is and what he needs.
Death is horrible. Wars are the killing fields of youth. The sadness of what this day reflects is the reality of what happened so very long ago. Death embraced man because of his rejection of his Creator. In the garden of Eden Adam and Eve lived in a paradise of peace before God. Because of sin, they were driven from the tree of life. Death reigned. Cain killed Abel. Nations destroyed nations. Men killed one another. There was no hope. Jesus came. He was killed. What changed with His death is what happened on the first day of the week. He arose. He not only arose but He still lives. Because of His resurrection, death is no longer something to be feared. Now there is hope.
Trying to explain the reasons for war is impossible. Understanding what Jesus did can be explained. The sacrifice of our dead is personal and we should pause today giving honor to their memory. It should remind us of the terrible way man finds himself without God. Thankfully, death is not to be viewed as final. There is victory in death for the child of God because the war against Satan has been won by the blood of Jesus Christ. Our memorial day is every first day of the week when we remember the greatest sacrifice. There is a real hope that one day death will be taken away and there will be no more sorrow, no more tears and no more pain. Then, and only then, will all memorial days be taken away. Victory will be final in Jesus Christ. Lord come quickly.
We often hear it said: “If God existed there would be no wars.” But it would be truer to say: “If God’s laws were observed there would be no wars.” (Yves M. Congar; God, Man and the Universe, 1950)