The Sacrifice of Many

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On June 6, 2001 our area witnessed a historic moment, the dedication of the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford. At the dedication, President Bush said in his speech:
Our presence here, 57 years removed from that event, gives testimony to how much was gained and how much was lost. What was gained that first day was a beach, and then a village, and then a country. And in time, all of Western Europe would be freed from fascism and its armies.
The achievement of Operation Overlord is nearly impossible to overstate, in its consequences for our own lives and the life of the world. Free societies in Europe can be traced to the first footprints on the first beach on June 6, 1944. What was lost on D-Day we can never measure and never forget.
When the day was over, America and her allies had lost at least 2,500 of the bravest men ever to wear a uniform. Many thousands more would die on the days that followed. They scaled towering cliffs, looking straight up into enemy fire. They dropped into grassy fields sown with land mines. They overran machine gun nests hidden everywhere, punched through walls of barbed wire, overtook bunkers of concrete and steel. The great journalist Ernie Pyle said, "It seemed to me a pure miracle that we ever took the beach at all. The advantages were all theirs, the disadvantages all ours." "And yet," said Pyle, "we got on."
President Bush went on and said…“No one who has heard and read about the events of D-Day could possibly remain a cynic. Army Private Andy Rooney was there to survey the aftermath. A lifetime later he would write, "If you think the world is selfish and rotten, go to the cemetery at Colleville overlooking Omaha Beach. See what one group of men did for another on D-Day, June 6, 1944."
Today hopefully you and I understand that freedom never comes without a cost and sacrifice.
This weekend we celebrate the freedom we have as a people and a nation…and let us be reminded that it has been costly – costly in the lives of men and women who’ve given their best and sacrificed their all.
There’s another freedom we celebrate every Sundayand every day of our lives, the freedom we have in Christ…as a Christian! And let us be reminded that it has been costly- in the life and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ! As 1 Cor. 6:20 says:
1 Corinthians 6:20 NASB95
For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.
When Jesus died on the Cross, He became the “The Lamb of God Who took away the sin of the world.”
(LORD’S SUPPER) – This morning we remember / celebrate the freedom Christ has made possible for us through His sacrifice at Calvary! Take the bread this morning and remember that Jesus gave His body on Calvary for you…Jesus said, “This is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” Take the cup and remember that Jesus shed His blood for you on Calvary…Jesus said, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, do this as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
Yes Jesus sacrificed to bring freedom and many others have sacrificed so others can experience this freedom. The Apostle Paul was one man who sacrificed and gave much to point others to Christ. Listen to his testimony of his sacrifice2 Corinthians 11:23-28
2 Corinthians 11:23–28 NASB95
Are they servants of Christ?—I speak as if insane—I more so; in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death. Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches.
And many many more great servants of God have sacrificed so much – even their lives so others could experience spiritual freedom in Christ!
And so this freedom you and I enjoy as a nation should never be taken for granted. And this freedom you and I enjoy as a child of God should never be taken for granted either!
Pastor Ferdinand Quiratman of the Philippines spoke in a church service in the United States about World War II. His father had told him how the Filipino people had longed to be free from the Japanese occupation, and how jubilant they were when General Douglas MacArthur kept his word and returned to liberate the islands. Ferdinand related that as the troops landed on Philippine soil his father ran toward the men, cheering and giving the V-for the Victory sign.
After telling his father's story, Pastor Ferdinand thanked America for sending her soldiers to liberate his people. Then he said, "I want to thank you for another army that came from your country to bring my people freedom. It is that army of American missionaries who landed on our soil to proclaim the gospel. We were slaves to a more terrible tyrant--Satan. But your missionaries came with the story of Jesus, and many of our people were saved through faith in Him. Twice your soldiers have come to set us free." [From Illy]... THE COMING OF THE ARMY…
Jesus said this in John 8:32 “and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
Today we celebrate the freedom we have as a nationand every day we celebrate the freedom we have in Christ!
1) Be thankful for the freedom you have in our nation – it has come at a great price.
2) Be thankful for the freedom you have in Christ – freedom from the bondage of sin and the hold the devil had on your life – freedom from an eternal destiny in hell separated from God and assurance of a home in Heaven when your time comes to leave this world = and never forget: this freedom has come at a great price!
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