Happy Memorial Day! For most of us, today is the kick-off of summer time fun, yummy picnic foods with watermelon, hamburgers and all that good stuff.
   For the last twenty years, we go to our friends for our annual softball game and nice fellowship. I never played softball as a child –I come from Europe, you know–so the learning curve was a bit steep. After twenty years, my kids still love to tell me I do it wrong, but they get a kick out of me if I actually make it to base. I love it all: the giggles, the stupid jokes, the good food and the hot sun. I love to slow down for a day and be with my friends away from the pressures of everyday life. I love to put all my energy into that softball game as if my life depended on it. I love the way the ump cheats because a kid is at bat and how he forgets to count some runs. I love to be on the winning team, and I love it when I’m losing with my team.
   We owe Memorial Day to those men and women who gave their lives for the freedom of our country. They are the reason we can have that mindless softball game and the burned hot dogs. Their blood paid from my carefree day in the sun. May I never ever take them for granted. There are mothers without sons, and widows who have lost their future for my softball game.
   The Scriptures talk about another Memorial Day, in which blood was also shed to purchase freedom for men and women worldwide. It all started with a little group of oppressed slaves in Egypt, mistreated and longing to return to their homeland. They cried out to their God and He responded to their plea. For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments. I am the Lord. The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plaque will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. “Now this day will be a memorial to you, and you shall celebrate it as a feast to the Lord; throughout your generations you are to celebrate it as a permanent ordinance.(Exodus 12:12-14 NASB) Even back then, the freedom from the tyranny of injustice came with blood. This liberation from oppression stood as a picture of what was to come thousands of years later when Jesus blood purchased liberty from the dominion of sin and death for all those who would believe. The Son of God paid the highest possible price,shedding His blood for the redemption of mankind. Jesus, the perfect Lamb of God, is the only one ever to not deserve death as a result of sin. Yet as the sinless One, He sacrificed His own body to satisfy Gods righteousness. Perfect offering for the sins of the world, the Son of God laid His life down willingly, pouring out His blood on behalf of all menJesus darkest hour. Yet victory was at hand! God could now accept the ultimate sacrifice of His Son, the Pass-over Lamb of God; wrath truly passes us over now, Gods righteousness having been fulfilled through the blood of the Son.
   This is our Memorial Day indeed. Let us celebrate it outrageously every single day of our lives, remembering the cost of our liberty. It was indeed for freedom that Christ set us free.

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