OceanSide church of Christ
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DYING FOR ANOTHER
Victor M. Eskew
A. The official date for the end of the Civil War is Sunday, April 9, 1865.
B. The first Memorial Day was celebrated on May 1, 1865 at Charleston, S.C.
1. Union prisoners of war had been held at Charleston Race Course.
2. 257 Union prisoners died there and were hastily buried in unmarked graves.
3. Freedmen (freed slaves) knew of the Union dead and decided to honor them.
4. The site was cleaned up, landscaped, and nearly 10,000 people came to pay their respects and lay flowers on the burial field.
C. Other dates associated with Memorial Day.
1. May 5, 1868, General John A. Logan issued a proclamation that “Decoration Day” should be held nationwide.
2. It was originally celebrated on May 30th.
3. 1967 – The official name “Memorial Day” was given to the celebration.
4. 1971 – The holiday was set as the last Monday in May.
D. The position of the flag
1. On Memorial Day the flag is raised briskly to the top of the staff and then solemnly lowered to half position, where is remains only till noon. It is then raised to full staff for the remainder of the day.
2. The half-staff position remembers the more than one million men and woman who gave their lives in service to their country. At noon their memory is raised by the living who resolve not to let their sacrifice be in vain, but to rise up and continue to fight for liberty and justice.
E. Memorial Day is a time when we remember and honor those who have died to secure our freedoms.
1. Think of that: Others dying on our behalf
2. Question: What does it take to die for another?
3. NOTE: This topic is very important for the Christian because the precious Lord Jesus “died for us” (I Thess. 5:9-10).
For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.
I. TO DIE FOR ANOTHER THERE MUST BE A CAUSE
A. Throughout the centuries that our nation has existed, the cause for which our armed forces have fought is liberty, freedom.
B. This is the same cause for which our Lord died, but it involved freedom in the spiritual realm.
1. Hebrews 2:14-15
Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil, and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
a. Mankind was subject to “bondage.”
b. Jesus’ mission was to “deliver them.”
2. Jesus Himself spoke of man’s bondage and the need for freedom during His earthly ministry (John 8:31-34).
Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed: and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.
a. Jesus has made this lesson very personal to us. “Whosoever” committeth sin is the servant of sin.
b. I have committed sin. Thus, I have been in bondage.
c. Is any man exempt from sin? (See Rom. 3:9)
What then? Are we better than they; No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin.
C. Again, the cause was freedom. Jesus desired to set the captives, me and you, free from the slavery of sin.
II. TO DIE FOR ANOTHER THERE MUST BE CONVICTION
A. Conviction is defined as “strong belief or persuasion.”
1. Conviction usually involves one’s concept of the “rightness” of the cause.
2. The conviction is part of the motivation for the sacrifice.
B. Our fighting men and women who died believed that freedom, opportunity, and capitalism were right. That belief caused them to give their lives that we might have these things.
C. Jesus had a deep conviction that His Father’s will to redeem man was right. His conviction caused Him to focus on His course and never deviate therefrom.
1. Early in life, He was convicted (Luke 2:49).
And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? Wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?
2. During His earthly ministry, He was convicted (John 4:34).
Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.
3. In death, He was convicted (Matt. 26:39).
And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.
4. On that brutal, dark day at Calvary, Jesus’ convictions enabled Him to say: It is finished (John 19:30).
III. DYING FOR ANOTHER INVOLVES COURAGE
A. Conviction is that which produces courage. Courage is defined as “having heart.” It involves one’s moving forward in the face of fear.
B. I can’t imagine the courage it takes to be a soldier, especially in the heat of battle surrounded by the enemy.
C. Jesus also manifested extreme courage in His death for us.
1. His courage is seen as He told His disciples of His impending death (Luke 9:22).
2. His courage is seen in His refusal to retaliate (Matt. 26:52).
3. His courage is seen in His silence (Matt. 26:62-63a).
4. His courage is seen in His answers Matt. 26:64).
5. His courage is seen in His forgiveness of this enemies (Luke 23:34).
6. His courage is seen in His reliance upon His Father (Luke 23:46).
IV. DYING FOR ANOTHER INVOLVES CARING (LOVE)
A. Our fighting men and women truly care and love our country and all of her citizens.
1. They are not out there for the pay.
2. They are not in it for the praise, thanksgiving, and recognition.
B. Jesus certainly loved those for whom He died.
1. John 15:13
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
2. Ephesians 5:2
And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering, and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour.
3. I John 3:16
Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us…
4. Revelation 1:5b
…Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.
A. Tomorrow we honor our fallen soldiers.
B. Today, we come together to honor our Lord who died for us, but who was raised on the third day.
C. As I prepared this lesson, my constant thought was:
1. Do I acknowledge that there is a heavenly cause that exists today?
2. Am I truly convicted in my beliefs about this cause?
3. Do I possess enough courage to really look death in the face?
4. Do I care (love) the Christ and His cause enough to die for it?