July 13, 2010
He is not here, but is risen: remember how He spake unto you when He was yet in Galilee, saying, "The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again." Luke 24:6-7
Sergeant James MacNeil was from Cape Breton in Nova Scotia.
Sergeant MacNeil was in the service of his country when he went to Afghanistan -- for the fourth time.
There, on June 20th, he was killed by a home-made explosive device.
At his burial dozens of family members wore red shirts and yellow ribbons in his memory. But there was more than mourning families at MacNeil's funeral.
• There was also an honor guard at the entrance to Immaculate Conception Church where the services were held.
• There were hundreds of people from the community who came to pay their respects for a man who had "given his all."
• There was an estimated 10,000 people along the road between Sydney's airport and the funeral home where MacNeil's body was brought. One of them said, "He will never be forgotten."
Truly, we all give thanks that a hero has been given a hero's send-off.
And then, many Christians wonder why Jesus, who also gave His all, is not treated with a similar show of respect.
Indeed, we stand in amazement at how much the world wishes to deny Jesus' life, His suffering, and His death. We are awed by the indifference shown to God's Son whose entire life was given as a sacrifice to save us from our sin.
It is a sad commentary on us. And it is also a commentary on just how much we need the Savior's sacrifice to save us from sin -- and ourselves.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, how sad it is the world refuses to acknowledge Your suffering, sacrifice, death, and resurrection. Today I pray that I may do all I can to witness to the wonders of Your great love. May I never forget what You have done upon the cross and at Your empty tomb. In Your Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries