Every year thousands gather to Remember the fallen from wars fought that allow us the freedom we enjoy today. Despite the efforts of some to dilute, down play and desecrate this annual outpouring of pride and grief as we remember those that paid the ultimate price, it continues to go from strength to strength as the people rally in many creative ways, to keep it front and centre in the hearts and minds of these subsequent generations.
Remembrance is in the heart of God for us humans, because we so easily forget the good things He has done. In the Old Testament we find many occasions when stone heaps were erected to help the Israelites remember what God did for them and to commemorate a place where something significant took place. God also reminded them continually many times:
“…Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and that the LORD your God brought you out of there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm.” (Deuteronomy 5:15)
“You shall remember all the way which the LORD your God has led you in the wilderness.” (Deuteronomy 8:2)
“Remember the word which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, saying, ‘The LORD your God gives you rest and will give you this land.’” (Joshua 1:13)
When working your way through the Old Testament narrative, it is not difficult to realise why God had to constantly command them to remember. Despite all of these constant warnings, the people forgot about the slavery they were rescued from, they continually broke the Law and forgot all the times God rescued them.
Of course the Old Testament Narrative is part of a bigger picture that culminates in the revealing of the heart of God in the coming of His Son Jesus Christ to rescue us from slavery. It was finally made possible for Mankind to get back into a right relationship with God once and for all by Jesus death and resurrection.
Like the sacrifices made on the battlefield for the freedoms we enjoy today, Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice upon the cross for the sin which enslaves us. Through His sacrifice we can experience our own exodus from bondage and enjoy the freedom He offers us through faith. By realising that He is the Son of God, repenting and believing in Him for the forgiveness of our sin, we can partake in all that He accomplished for us and be free for all eternity.
Those who already belong to Christ, through faith, remember Him regularly by partaking in the Bread and the Wine:
“This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.” (1 Corinthians 11:24-26)
Perhaps without this Remembrance, we too might forget all that Christ achieved on the Cross, all that He has accomplished for our freedom and all that He does to lead us in our new found freedom from the bondage of sin we now enjoy.
Let us not forget all the freedoms we have by the sacrifices made for us by those who fell on the battlefields of the past, but also let us not forget all that God has done for us by sending His son to perish on the battlefield of the Cross, where the war against sin was won, victory over death accomplished and real freedom was made possible.
“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)
To End All Wars (by Glen Scrivener):