Knowing. Most people do not know when they are going to die, but there is One who did. Jesus Christ knew that His part in God’s plan meant the ultimate sacrifice for a human, the form He had on this earth. He must give His life so that we, the rest of mankind, might have life eternal. There was no other option. Christ prayed in the Garden: “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42). But Jesus knew His Father’s will, the plan from the beginning, would prevail, and He would fulfill the needed sacrifice.
Knowing. What would it be like to “know” the fate that awaits us in this life? The inner controversy over knowing one’s genome history and testing for predictive disease like Alzheimer’s or pancreatic cancer involves the question we would have to answer: “Do we really want to know it will happen to us at some time in our lives?” For many, this might be a looming dread, affecting every day forward from the point of awareness. For others, it could be a positive affirmation to live life more completely and appreciate every day given. Knowing could make us more fearful and vulnerable–or knowing could make us more purposeful in our life journey.
Knowing. Our Lord made His earthly life purposeful, with God’s purpose, knowing what was to come. He shared and taught His Truth and mentored the disciples to follow His lead. He healed the sick, gave the example of prayer, and took time to pray alone with the Father. He cared for His friends and wept with them when a family member died. He loved us all, even those who were not yet born.
Knowing. Jesus knew His task on this earth and questioned His earthly parents who were looking for Him, “Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49). He knew the plan, for He was in the beginning with God: “ 1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it… 14 The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:1-5,14). His task on earth was to teach God’s Truth and give the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom from sin that we might have everlasting life with Him.
Knowing. Soldiers who go to war also know they might have to make this ultimate sacrifice to help secure the freedom of others-loved ones, acquaintances, strangers, and those not yet born. We designate a Memorial Day every May to remember their sacrifices. Like Christ, they are not really dead, for they speak to us through the freedom we have from their final bequest—their lives.
“Are they dead that yet speak louder than we can speak, and a more universal language? Are they dead that yet act? Are they dead that yet move upon society and inspire the people with nobler motives and more heroic patriotism?” ¹
Knowing. We know, through faith, that Christ lives and still inspires us to strive toward His higher purposes. And we praise and thank Him. We know, through our experience in this earthly realm, that fallen soldiers live through the legacy of freedom that they bestow to us. And we thank them.
The Ultimate Sacrifice: Voices Still Heard
¹Beecher, Henry Ward. http://www.goodreads.com/quotes
(Sharon G. Tate blog 05/29/16) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word