Focus: On veterans day we have the tradition of honoring our veterans and we
should not forget to honor the greatest vet - Jesus
Function: To move the hearers to honor not only our American veterans, but Jesus as the greatest veteran of all who fought for our salvation and won
Intro: 1. What is a Vet? 2. Purpose of Veterans day is to say “thank you” and honor our vets. I. Veterans day is often overlooked A. Many pulpits today across the country don’t even take notice of this tradition. Why? B. Many may think that honoring our vets is honoring war 1. No Christian should glory in war 2. I believe that no combat vet would glorify war either C. ILL: 1. A cartoon in a newspaper a. In Italy, 2 battle-worn soldier back from front b. Young well groomed and shaved solier goes by fist clenched, angry look. chip on his shoulder c. On says to the other: That ain’t no combat soldier, he’s LOOKING for a fight!” d. Combat vet’s don’t look for a fight 2. General Sherman after the civil war a. So sick of rhetoric of glory to refer to war’s campaigns b. Blasted verbally at graduation Michigan Military Academy c. “War is at best barbarism! Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot, or heard the shrieks & groans of the wounded who cry aloud for more blood, more vengeance, and more desolation. War is hell!” 3. Combat veterans would not glorify war D. So we must distinguish between remembering our veterans and glorifying war. II. Aside from death, destruction, and cruelty of war ... what is there? A. Emotions: Fear, anger, hope, despair B. ALso some of the finest features of humanity: self-sacrifice, charity 1. One of most unexpected features that shows itself is LOVE 2. Soldiers don’t fight for their country or the American way 3. In the trenches, mud, water, beaches, deserts - they fight for their buddies C. WIlliam Manchester - WWII Marine Sgt. 1. Wounded lightly in Okinawa, shipped to a field hospital 2. Learned his unit scheduled amphibious assault behind enemy lines 3. Went AWOL from hospital & joined buddies, severly wounded 4. Later, couldn’t explain why he left honorable safety of hospital 5. He just couldn’t stand the thought of his buddies risking lives and he not being there to help - He did it for love D. John 15:13 - “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends” III. Sometimes you even see love for the enemy in a time of war Ernest Gordon a pow in a Japanese camp 1. Trip trip while captive, stopped in Burma 2. Train of Japanese wounded pulled along side - he writes: “They were in a shocking state, I have never seen men filtheir. Uniforms were encrusted with blood, mud and excrement. Their wounds crawled with maggots. The wounded looked at us forlornly as they sat waiting for death. They had been disgarded as expendable, the refust of war. These were our enemy. "Without a word most of the officers in my section unbuckled their packs, took out part of their rations and a rag or two, and with their water canteens in their hands, went over to the Japanese train. Our guards tried to prevent us, but we ignored them and knelt down by the enemy to give water and food, to clean and bind their wounds. Grateful cries of 'Arigato' (thank you) followed us when we left. "I regarded my comrades with wonder. Eighteen months ago they would have readily destroyed [the Japanese]. Now these same officers were dressing the enemy's wounds. "We had experienced a moment of grace, there in the bloodstained railway cars. God had broken through the barriers of our prejudice and had given us the will to obey his command, 'Thou shalt love.' " IV. Sometimes a soldier risks his life even when he is not trying to save one A. 2 Sam 23:13-17 - B. These mighty men who served David risked their lives just to bring him a cup of water from home. 1. David would not drink it - showed his gratitude, 2. David did not take lightly that they risked his life for him C. Many Americans risked and gave their lives to bring us the cup of freedom 1. Do we drink without considering the price paid for it 2. Far be it from us to do such a thing D. Let’s honor and remember those who gave themselves V. In remembering our Am Vets, don’t forget the greatest vet of all A. 2 Cor 5:16 - “even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet we know Him thus no longer.” 1. Not talking about Jesus as he WAS - suffering servant 2. Jesus as he is - A mighty warrior, a conqueror B. Rev 5:1-7 - Jesus is not a wimpy lamb, but a conquering lamb 1. He is called the “Lion” of the tribe of Judah 2. Grk: Not “amnos” (“lamb” used for an offering) but “arnion” a. Why a different name for lamb here? b. Jesus is not a helpless victim 3. He has overcome, his is “standing” 4. He has 7 horns (symbolize power) C. Paul describes Jesus as a military general in Eph 4:7-10 1. The imagery Paul uses is a military victory parade 2. Jesus conquered and gave gifts D. The most clearest and inspiring picture of our hero is in Rev 19:11-21 1. Jesus, on a white horse with burning eyes leads an angelic army 2. He defeats the enemy (followed by judgement, then heaven) Concl: 1. We honor our vets because it is their day - Veteran’s day 2. However, everyday is the Lord’s and we should honor him every day a. He is our hero, he defeated the enemy and has given us gifts to serve with b. Let’s continue to honor him with our words, and deeds 3. Have you begun to honor him? a. What does Jesus ask in return - Accept him as Savior and Lord b. Turn your life around, be baptized, live for him.