Have you seen this statement? "Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you. Jesus Christ and the American Soldier. One died for your soul, the other for your freedom." I just saw it again on Facebook.
I appreciate the spirit and sentiment the words intend. Though as I sit here in Afghanistan in a uniform doing my duty on the day before Easter, it has made me think. It’s not entirely true. The truth is I'm not thinking of you at all. I love my country, and I will die for it if I must, but I won't likely be thinking of YOU. You haven't even sent me a care package! My wife and kids perhaps…but ask any Soldier and the truth is that in a "fight" we think of the Soldiers to our left and right. Should I be killed in battle, I will be proud to have died doing my duty, but I can assure you it was a total surprise to me and completely unplanned. With a nod to General Patton, I was doing my level best to make the other guy die for your freedom.
Jesus Christ is a totally different story. He knew He would be ridiculed and reviled immediately and for centuries to come. He gave Himself anyway. He knew he would be unjustly convicted, beaten and killed. He gave Himself anyway. In the very moment that He did, he thought of you. You. The you your spouse hasn't met, your friends don't know and your parent would be shocked to meet. You. He gave Himself for you anyway, but that’s not the best part.
The best part is that He did both. He died for your soul and He can give you freedom. Even better?
He is risen.