Thank God for Independence!

Philippians 2:6-8 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Tonight Israel will celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut — Independence Day — and what a party! — shows, fireworks, music, dancing, everything under the sun!

But interestingly, today is a very solemn one; Israel’s Memorial Day (Yom Hazikaron), commemorating all the soldiers who died protecting the nation’s birth and continued existence. All the major television stations stopped airing their programs for twenty-four hours in honor of these men and women. At different times during the day, long loud sirens wailed all throughout the Land. Wherever anyone was as the sirens sounded, the entire population stopped whatever they were doing — even standing still on the highways, to give honor to the fallen soldiers. The dedication and camaraderie among Israelis are just amazing to witness and take part in. I have traveled to many places and I’ve never seen anything like it.

This juxtaposition of two of Israel’s national holidays speaks powerfully of the gospel. Messiah’s death purchased our freedom from sin and eternal damnation. We’ve often heard and been reminded of the cost paid for our independence by soldiers who gave their lives defending our nation. It is a beautiful and precious thing to remember when you think of the value of human life and the blessing of individual freedom. Yet our Lord willingly laid down His life for our eternal freedom and joy in a New Creation.

How much more should we give honor to His sacrificial death and then…celebrate the astounding destiny He has bestowed on us!

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