Devotional by Neil Shack
6 June 1944 marks one of the most significant events in history. During the D-Day landings approximately 156,000 Allied troops stormed the beaches of Normandy.
These courageous young men faced what can only be described as horror as many witnessed the slaughter of their peers, and approximately 4,400 gave their lives (with thousands more wounded or missing) to defend their country, freedom, and begin the liberation of France. By earthly standards, they were heroic and as we remember them, we remember their sacrifice.
In John 15:13 we’re taught that there is no greater act of love than to lay down one’s life, in doing so we demonstrate a selfless sacrifice which values others above ourselves. Yet the value of our lives could only ever be equal to (or less than) the one we lay down our lives for. In Romans 5:7–8 we’re introduced to an act of sacrifice involving the life of One infinitely more valuable than our own, and verse 8 tells us:
God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
An infinitely great and perfect God lay down His life in the person of Jesus in a demonstration of love for those He had created, even while those He died for were of infinitely less value, and so evil that it demanded such a great cost for us to be delivered from sin.
In a child of God this should provoke a response, one which makes our lives less about us, and more about Him. In Colossians 1:16 we’re told:
For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.
We were created ‘for Him’ and His Word is all about Him and His character, demonstrated in the magnitude of the Cross. Self-denial is an increasingly alien concept in modern times but one of utmost importance for the child of God. 1 John 3:16 reads:
By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
Our response to the events of D-Day is an act of remembrance. May our response to the event of the Cross be a complete reverence, and may we be willing to deny self, even laying down our lives for such a worthy cause.