“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”John 15:13
When our oldest daughter Lanie got married in Virginia in 2018, we thought it would be a good idea to go to Washington, D.C. since we were so close. Our kind of vacation is to not plan too many things, but simply have some ideas of what we want to do and play it by ear. As a kid, I remember getting up early and staying out late whenever we vacationed, and we needed a vacation from our vacation when we got home. Our vacations now are at a much slower pace and consist of sleeping in and eating a good meal before we start the day. Of all the sights we saw in D.C, there was something I had not thought about before that really left an impression on me.
We have friends who live in Maryland, and they offered to take us around the sights since we did not have any real plans. They picked us up and the first stop of the day was Arlington National Cemetery. I had not given much thought to it, but I soon realized that this should have been at the top of my list. There are several things to see there, and it was awesome to attend the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and witness the changing of the guard. As we made our way through the cemetery, we passed countless headstones of those who gave their life in service to our country. I have seen photos of these headstones, but it is really something to behold in person.
The tombstones told only a partial story of their inhabitants’ life. We saw many young people whose lives were taken before their time. These young men and women paid the ultimate price for our freedom. I am sure many thought they had their whole life in front of them, and for many, I imagine death caught them by surprise. The cemetery is a somber place, and I tried to picture the life of the person who was listed on each headstone. I am thankful for those who gave their life that we might enjoy the freedoms we enjoy today. There are really no words one can offer to those who paid the ultimate price, but we should give pause and remember those who sacrificed for us. Although there was a great price paid for our freedom, there was an even greater price paid for our sinful condition.
I Timothy 2:3-6 tells of this sacrifice for us, “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will (desires to) have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” God sent His Son to pay the ultimate price for our sin, and His Son became a ransom for all. We may have a popular hero in mind when we think of human sacrifice, but there is none greater than Jesus Christ. He did not die for a specific country or nationality, but He died for all mankind. He did not die for religion or for social justice, but He died that all would be saved. II Peter 3:9 states, “The Lord is not slack (slow) concerning his promise, as some men count slackness (slowness); but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
Where are you today friend? Have you come to know of His great salvation? Do you know that Jesus died for you? Do you realize the love God had for you that He was willing to send His Son? How about you Christian? Have you come to truly know and value the love He has for you? Do you take the time to remember the great price He paid for you? Do you share with others the great price He has paid for them? May we take the time to remember the great price that was paid for our sins, and may we live our lives in honor of Him.