T/S: BY UNDERSTANDING 3 ASPECTS OF THE RESURRECTION THAT MADE THAT DAY THE MOST MEMORABLE AS SET FORTH IN THE TEXT.
INTRO: Tomorrow we as Americans recognize one of the greatest days in the life of our Country. As sad as it is to say this if you were to ask the average American or even young person today, most could not logically explain to you what this day means. For many it just means a Day off from work, for others it may mean a day to have a family cookout or for others it may just mean a day to have a beer and a burger…… how sad. Yet for many in this wonderful country we live in it is a Day that is set aside for the Memory of those that lost their life and a day for us to honor them. During my studies I came across a story that I thought fitting by way of illustration this morning and to bring home what Memorial Day is truly about.
John Robert Fox (born in Cincinnati, Ohio May 18, 1915–December 26, 1944) was an American soldier who was killed in action when he deliberately called for artillery fire on his own position, after his position was overrun, in order to defeat a German attack in the vicinity of Sommocolonia, northern Italy during World War II. He posthumously received the Medal of Honor in 1997, for willingly sacrificing his life. Lt Fox was part of the 92nd Infantry Division (colored), known as the “Buffalo Soldiers”, was a segregated African American division that fought in World War II. First Lieutenant John R. Fox was of the 366th Infantry Regiment when he sacrificed his life in order to defeat the Germans and save the lives of his fellow soldiers. In December 1944, Fox was part of a small forward observer party that volunteered to stay behind in the Italian village of Sommocolonia, in the Serchio River Valley. American forces had been forced to withdraw from the village after it had been overrun by the Germans. From his position on the second floor of a house, Fox directed defensive artillery fire.
The Germans were in the streets and attacking in strength, greatly outnumbering the small group of American soldiers. Lt Fox radioed in to have the artillery fire adjusted closer to his position, then radioed again to have the shelling moved even closer. The soldier receiving the message was stunned, for that would bring the deadly fire right on top of Fox’s position; there was no way he would survive. When Lt Fox was told this, he replied, “Fire it.” This shelling delayed the German advance until other units could reorganize to repel the attack. His action permitted U.S. forces, who had been forced to withdraw, to organize a counterattack and regain control of the village. After the units had retaken the village, they found Lt Fox’s body along with the bodies of about one hundred German soldiers.
After the war the citizens of Sommocolonia, Italy erected a monument to nine men who were killed during the artillery barrage - eight Italian soldiers, and Lieutenant Fox.
In 2005, the toy company Hasbro introduced a 12-inch action figure "commemorating Lt. John R. Fox as part of its G.I. JoeMedal-of-Honor series."
Tomorrow is a day for us to Commemorate and Memorialize men and women just like him, which gave their life so that others could be free. And we should be thankful for their sacrifice so that we are not living under some Communistic rule. I find in our text this morning another Memorable day, in fact The Most Memorable Day. A day where someone sacrificed His life so that others could go free. With that being said I want to preach on this thought…. “THE MOST MEMORABLE DAY.”
IN THE PROMISE THAT WAS FULFILLED vs6 “He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.”
DUE TO CHRIST ABSENCE vs6a “He is not here:” vs6d “Come, see the place where the Lord lay.”
DUE TO CHRIST ASCENSION vs6b “for he is risen,”
DUE TO CHRIST ANNOUNCEMENT vs6c “as he said.”
Note: What a Memorable Day like none other in all of the History of mankind. And it was made possible because of the Sacrificial life of someone else…. Christ. From all the way back in the Garden of Eden in Gen3:15 where the promised seed was Promised that Eve’s Seed would crush the head of the serpent, to that Promises Fulfillment, in the Garden where Christ was buried, and rose again….. to finally become true.
Appl: As a Proud American I am thankful for the sacrifice of others so that I might live in a free country. Words can never express my gratitude….my life expresses it though as a citizen that respects the land I live in. However more Memorable and more importantly I am eternally grateful for the Memorable Day when Christ rose from the dead and paid my sin debt so I could be free. Are you thankful the Promise was Fulfilled? Does it mean anything to you? Is it The Most Memorable Day to you?
IN THE PROOF THAT WAS FOUND vs6c-11 “Come, see the place where the Lord lay. 7 And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. 8 And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word. 9 And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him. 10 Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me. 11 Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done.
PHYSICALLY vs6c “Come, see the place where the Lord lay.”
PURPOSEFULLY vs7-8 “And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. 8 And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.”
PERSONALLY vs9 “And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.”
PASSIONATELY vs9c “And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.” Vs17a “And when they saw him, they worshipped him:”
Note: What a Memorable Day, not only in the life of Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, but also in the life of the 11. The Proof of the Resurrection of Christ was Found first hand.
Appl: Although we cannot even begin to know what it must have been like to have firsthand physical proof that Christ was alive……………if you’re saved you can have firsthand proof of what it’s like for you to have Him living in your heart and it be A Memorable Day to you.
IN THE PLAN THAT WAS FURNISHED vs18-20 “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
A PLAN TO TRAVERSE vs18-19a “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore,”
A PLAN TO TEACH vs19b-19c “and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:”
A PLAN TO TRAIN vs20a “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:
A PLAN TO TRUST vs20b “and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
Note: Honestly what would be the point if Jesus just died for those 11? There was a much bigger Plan and broader purpose. As I already stated….as a Citizen of the USA I am compelled to live a life in gratitude for those that died so I can have freedom. I am compelled as well to serve in any capacity that my country asks of me and I have. And I have done my best to teach my family that as well. And so it is with the life I have as a Christian. Christ gave His life so I can live and He Furnished me with a Plan so that others might as well know of His Sacrificial life for others.
Appl: Are you and I responding appropriately to that Memorable Day by fulfilling the Plan that was Furnished?