“Greater love has no one than this,
than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”
John 15:13 NKJV
June 6, 2019 is the 75th Anniversary of D Day.
According to History.com, in an article by Dave Roos entitled: “D-Day: Facts on the Epic 1944 Invasion That Changed the Course of WWII “, D-Day was the largest amphibious invasion in military history. The invasion, officially called "Operation Overlord," combined the forces of 156,115 U.S., British and Canadian troops, 6,939 ships and landing vessels, and 2,395 aircraft and 867 gliders that delivered airborne troops. The toughest fighting was on Omaha Beach. All told, around 2,400 American troops were killed, wounded or unaccounted for after the fighting at Omaha Beach. The total Allied losses at Normandy are estimated to be at least 4,413 and total Allied deaths in the Battle of Normandy, which dragged on until August, topped 226,000.
It’s hard to imagine the amount of fear and courage it took for these men to storm those beaches. We owe a debt of gratitude to those who were willing to lay down their lives for us. At the Normandy American Cemetery, 9388 of these brave men are buried there overlooking the beach. These men made the ultimate sacrifice.
Jesus Himself tells us that there is “no greater love”. In the middle chapters of John’s Gospel, Jesus is preparing His disciples for His Ultimate Sacrificial death. Jesus Himself would lay down His life. This is something Jesus is willing to do freely. He lay down on the cross for us.
His death would also be the display of the Utmost Substitution, as He would die for the sins of mankind. The D Day soldiers died for their country, but in reality they died for their friends. Jesus, on the other hand demonstrated a far greater love. He died for us, even though we are sinners. He lay down on the cross and He was lifted up to draw us to Him.
This June 6, we remember that 75 years ago, 4,413 American men bled and died on the beaches of Normandy for us. As we reflect on D Day, we also remember that 2000 years ago, Jesus faced His on D Day as he bled and died for us on the cross.
It is my prayer as your pastor that we always remember the importance of D Day and the importance of the day Jesus died for us. There is no greater love.
I love you and it’s a privilege to be your pastor.