Whenever there is a federal holiday set aside to commemorate those who have given themselves in service, whether, the Independence Day, Memorial Day, or Veterans Day, we should always remember that every Sunday should be a memorial for Christians. These are commemorative of those who have died, those who have served, and those who currently serve our country sacrificially, and over 1.3 million Americans have given themselves in that service. Despite speeches and ceremonies, many forget the significance among other things we associate with Memorial Day.
Freedom From Captivity
Freedom comes with a price, but we do not always appreciate that price from which so many of us are far removed. A parallel exists in John 8:31-33 where the Pharisees answer to Jesus that they have never been in bondage to anyone, despite a history of captivity to Egypt, Babylon, and Assyria. They feel removed enough from those terrible events it is as if they never happened. In these case, though, they not only forget the horror of bondage, they also forget the glory of God’s deliverance.
Exodus 6:6-8, Micah 2:12-13, Zephaniah 3:14-20 – these passages are just a few that illustrate the wonder and magnitude of God redeeming and delivering His people. These give a small peek at what God has done for them, and we can even find examples in their captivities where the children of Israel would begin to tolerate, even take comfort in, their state of servitude.
Our Spiritual Deliverance
We wonder how the Jews of Jesus’ day could be so forgetful of their past captivities. We wonder how they could have been so dismissive of God’s deliverance, but we do the same thing. Romans 7:14, Romans 6:16, all Romans 6:6 refer to sin as a form of slavery. Romans 8:2 and Romans 6:17-18 remind us that Jesus redeems us in His death. He delivers us, but, because His sacrifice is so far removed from us, we sometimes downplay or forget the magnitude of His sacrifice. Also, like the Jews in captivity, we sometimes grow to tolerate sin in our lives.
Hebrews 10:26 warns us that sin erases Christ’s sacrifice. Verse 29 calls our sin trampling over that sacrifice and profaning His grace. How do we view the memorial of the cross? How do we view the captivity of our sins? How do we view our deliverance by God’s hand? Has the memorial of Christ’s death lost meaning and magnitude to us? Every Sunday is a time to reflect on the price paid for our sins and the victory our God had over the chains of sin and death. The captivity of sin is worse than any physical captivity, and the freedom found in Christ is greater than any that can be granted by man.
lesson by Tim Smelser