George Bowers Sr.: Blood is currency of liberty

George Bowers Sr.

On Monday, we celebrate summer’s unofficial beginning with Memorial Day. While families picnic and relax, it’s a great time to pause and do what this holiday was created for: remembering.

It’s important that we recall the thousands of brave young men and women who sacrificed their futures and their very lives to purchase and preserve our freedoms. Tyrants and despots do not yield easily and the price of liberty is nearly always paid in blood. Many millions of dollars could never purchase freedom nor equal the value of what so many have willingly done for us.

It’s easy to forget in our fairly secure and comfortable lives that much of mankind throughout most of history has not had it this good. In fact, most have lived out their lives under harsh oppression and miserable cruelty. It was only because of the leadership and sacrifice of our forebears that we enjoy the abundant blessings of independence our nation now affords.

Not only is it fitting to remember the high price paid by former generations, it’s also important to express our appreciation to those currently protecting us and our liberties. They often endure harsh circumstances under constant threat of death on battlefields and beaches, on waves and in the air. They take great risks and are separated from their families so that we can peacefully enjoy ours relatively risk free.

As we contemplate the willing sacrifices of those in uniform, they ought to remind us of the one who said, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” Let us not miss this: those who take bullets for others, or who are willing to do so, exhibit the greatest love. Jesus knew that the price of liberty, whether political or spiritual, was always paid in human blood and comes from a heart of love.

The day after he spoke those words, Jesus himself laid down his own life for others in apparent defeat. As his sinless blood drained away, however, it became the currency of our spiritual freedom. His blood purchased our liberty from the concentration camp of eternal hell and freed us from evil’s worst tyrants: sin, self, and the devil. Not only did he deliver us from these oppressors, he also bore the sins of every human including both soldiers and tyrants. In so doing, His sacrifice far exceeds that of any other and demonstrates the deepest depths of love.

Three days later, he pulled off the greatest coup of all when he conquered death and boldly marched out of his tomb! Not only had he laid down His life, but he took it up again as well! He secured everlasting independence for all who perish if they repent and trust in him, whether soldier or tyrant.

In America today, too many of us are totally oblivious of the supreme price so many have paid for our freedoms while others take it far too lightly. As we relax around our backyard grills this Memorial Day, let us pause to thank those who have purchased these freedoms for us as well as those who are protecting them even now. Most importantly, let us thank the one who loved and gave the most to bring eternal deliverance to all who will receive it, and remember that blood is always the currency of liberty. Happy Memorial Day! In Jesus, George

George Bowers Sr. is the senior pastor of Antioch Church of the Brethren in Woodstock and the author of seven books including his devotional collection, “Blessings.” He can be reached through www.georgebowersministries.com or at gabowers@shentel.net.