“Yesterday, December 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy…”
Standing on a hillside, where the river meets the sea
White crosses without number, line the fields of grief
And each one a silent witness staring back at me
And every cross a story, of another place and time
Where young men thought it worthy, to give their life for mine
And for the sake of honor left their dreams behind
And for the price they paid, I’m forever in their debt
No the memory will not die, because I will not forget
I will stand – and hold my head up high
I will dare to keep my life – to the glory of the ones/One who lived to die
I will live – live what I believe
If for no one else but me, to remember
Freedom’s never free…
“Even so much the Son of Man be lifted up that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have eternal life…”
Now it was on another hillside, just outside the city gates
The battle lines where drawn, as soldiers took their place
The Father watched in silence as the cross was raised
The freedom drawing closer, He took His final breath
He drank our cup of guilt and took the sting from death
Heavens finest Soldier clothed in human flesh
And for the price He paid, I’m forever in His debt
The cross will never die, because I will not forget
I will walk free
I will stay free
I will live free
I will die free
Wilburn and Wilburn found a rare treasure in those lyrics. Comparing the scenes of World War II with the battle at Calvary, this song covers the patriotic feelings we have as American’s living in a free nation, and the freedom we have in Christ because He conquered death on the Cross. Though this song refers to World War II, and we are celebrating the Fourth of July, I feel that it’s still appropriate because we are generally talking about freedom.
On July 4th, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was signed, and America became a nation. A new nation. Unfortunately, men had to fight and lose their lives so freedom could exist…but as the song says, these men, “thought it worthy, to give their life for mine.” They knew that the future depended on their sacrifice…and so they paid with the highest price – their lives. As the chorus says, freedom’s never free. The reason that we can speak the very word “freedom” without worry of being arrested or turned into the authorities for being “revolutionaries” – is because there were people just like you and me who were willing to fight and die for what they believed in…freedom, though many didn’t live to see it established.
“The freedoms we share as Christians and the freedoms we enjoy as Americans…is never free.”
Jonathan makes this statement in the video, and how true it is. Freedom is always something that has to be bought at a high price. It’s an interesting thing to contemplate, if you think about it. Freedom – it’s the thing that every human being longs for. Whether it’s freedom to believe in Jesus, the freedom of speech or political freedom – you could go as far as saying that being free is one of the soul goals of mankind.
“The red stands for the blood of men who gave their lives so we can come here tonight and worship God.”
The American flag is the symbol of our nation’s freedom. As Jonathan mentions, the color red is symbolic of the blood of the soldiers who died to make that happen. Notice he adds the specific words “and worship God.” The reason that the Pilgrims crossed the Atlantic Ocean on the Mayflower was to have the ability to worship the Lord freely. Since then, many young men have willingly given their lives so that opportunity would not be taken away from us. “On the other hand, the greatest soldier that ever touched the face of this earth was Jesus.” Jonathan reminds us. Christ fought a real battle on Calvary. Just like the red stripe on our American flag represents the blood of soldiers, His blood shed on the cross reminds us of the great cost of our redemption – His life. Freedom is never free, and the cross, the symbol of death, is the symbol of the Christian’s freedom.
Believers too, can add the words…to worship God. Christ died for our sins, yes, but He also died so we could have free access to worship the Heavenly Father without the aid of a priest. In the Old Testament, God dwelled in the Holy of Hollies (in the Tabernacle) and the only one who could enter into His presence was the high priest, and even then, he could only do that once a year. Being able to worship the Lord in the Holy of Hollies was not available to every Israelite, nor every person before Christ‘ death. When Jesus died, that system ended, “Jesus, when He had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And behold, the veil of the temple was rent in two from the top to the bottom.” (Matthew 27:50-51). With the cross came freedom from sin, and with the Lord’s death came freedom to access the Father in a way no one could ever dream of before. Consider these precious verses.
Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
Ephesians 2:18 – “For through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.”
Without Him, we couldn’t do that…
The reason we have freedom to worship God is not only because of American’s freedom of religion, it is also because Jesus paid for our sin and made worship outside of the temple possible in the first place. If Jesus would not have made peace for us at the cross, it wouldn’t matter how free this nation or any other country claimed to be – without Christ’s work of atonement, we would not be able to worship the Lord the way we do. Ephesians 2:14-15, “For He is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in His flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances.” So when Jonathan says, “Without Him we would have no America to fight for,” it can be applied in more ways than one!
We thank the soldiers who died for our nations freedom, and so today, also take time to remember to thank the Soldier Who died for our eternal security.
Happy 4th of July!