Today is Memorial Day in the United States. It is the day we remember those who so loved their country and their fellow Americans that they were willing to lay down their lives to protect them.
When I was a kid, to me Memorial Day mostly meant I got a three-day weekend for my birthday and that meant we would go camping. I didn’t really understand what this day was all about. I didn’t understand sacrifice. It wasn’t until I came to know Jesus that I understood the concept of sacrificing one’s life for others. Jesus said to His disciples:
This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. John 15:12-14 (NLT).
When Jesus died on the cross, when He willingly laid His life down for all of us, He held His head high. Even though He was abandoned by all His disciples and all of His creation rejected Him in that moment, His love for us held firm. He suffered for each and every one of us so that we could be free of the evil power of the devil to bring us down, to keep us in chains.
In the same way, our military men and women willingly lay down their lives to protect our freedom to live and worship from the evil who would take it from us. In foxholes and POW camps, they have held their heads high, knowing their lives were a sacrifice for our freedoms. This song is in honor and memory of all those who were beaten up and dragged down, who lost their lives, defending our country, and who held their heads high through it all. May their souls rest in Jesus, the One who modeled such selfless sacrifice.
“I Will Hold My Head High” by Third Day.