Twelve years ago, Steven Spielberg directed the epic World War II film, “Saving Private Ryan.” A gripping story about a small platoon of eight men that embark on a mission to find and get to safety Private James Francis Ryan who was the last surviving brother of three servicemen that had already fallen in the war.
Throughout the film the platoon led by Capt. John H. Miller portrayed by Tom Hanks fight off fatigue, doubt, snipers, tanks, and surges of machine gun yielding Germans. In the process many of the soldiers that partook in the mission, including Capt. John Miller give their lives to find and get to safety Private Ryan.
In the last moments of the film, set on a bridge that the soldiers had been guarding. The allies had showed up, the Germans were retreating, victory was emanate. But leaning beside a wall though was Capt. John H. Miller that had been shot by a German soldier that he had freed earlier in the film. Holding on to his life, he grabs Private Ryan and draws him close. Barely breathing, Capt. Miller uses the last few breaths he has before he dies and tells Private Ryan words that will dwell with him the rest of his life, “Earn this, earn it…”
Seconds later you are transported to a much older Private James Ryan standing in Normandy American Cemetery, shadowing the burial place of Capt. Miller.
The much older Private Ryan then kneels down and as if speaking to Capt. Miller, telling him that everyday he has thought about those words that were spoken to him that day on the bridge and that has tried to live his life the best he could and that he hoped that at least in the eyes of Capt. Miller, he had earned what all of them had done for him. Giving their lives so that he could live.
There is another that has bought our freedom, not with gold coins or money but with His very life. Jesus left the safety of Heaven and came down here on a mission much the same. To seek and save the lost, to set us free from sin and death~ Romans 8:2.
While here, he experienced more than the best trained solider or individual could have ever endured. Rejected by the very ones whom he came to save, they beat Him, ripped His skin from his body, mocked Him, and placed Him on a cross to die. The very ones that He came to save did all of this even after He healed their sick, raised their dead, fed the multitudes, calmed the storms, and much more.
Not many would enter a battlefield knowing that certain death or torture awaited them, but Christ knew this would take place. Christ was born and death was certain. Even for those that took part in His execution, He would die for them, as the bible tells us,” While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” ~ Romans 5:8
If you have ever been to Arlington National Cemetery, you are in awe at the three hundred thousand headstones that mark the burial places of servicemen and women that have given their lives for the freedoms we endure and take so lightly. Freedom of speech and of the press, freedom to bear arms, freedom of religion or even the freedom to gather at a ballgame.
When we think of all those that we gather for each year and remember, that have paid the ultimate price, can we tell ourselves that we earned it and lived good lives for those that gave theirs.
In the end of the film, the elder Private Ryan is comforted by his wife. He asks for her assurance that he is a good man, that he has lived a good life. She gives him the assurance he longs for.
Many would say of themselves that they are good and have lived a good moral life. They look at their life and they take their families to church, give to the poor, volunteer when and where needed. Don’t practice lying and stealing and love their families. You may be doing the best you can at living a good life and by most standards of men, you just may be considered a good person.
If you look though at God’s standard of righteousness called the Ten Commandments, it paints a very different picture of your goodness. First of all the “good” things you may have done in you life, whatever they maybe, the bible tells us in Isaiah that, “all our righteous deeds are like a filthy rags.” Isaiah 64:6
Jesus even when called good, His reply was, “there is none good but one, that is, God,” teaching us that everywhere all men are sinners.~ Matthew 19:17. Romans 3:23 also states that, “all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God,”
Paul described The Ten Commandments as a schoolmaster, he said,” Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith” ~ Galatians 3:24. You can look at God’s commandments and they will mirror your sin to you. Showing you exactly what you have done wrong that has offended God, making you His enemy.
They are clear in telling us not to lie or steal, not to commit adultery or to use the Lords name is vain, not worship idols or covet or desire something that is not yours, not to murder and to honor our mother and father, to keep the Sabbath holy and to put God first above everything else ~ Exodus 20:2-17
Some seem to trivialize the Commandments and say that they have only broken one or two or saying that, “who has not told at least one lie?” My question would be simply to you who is reading, How many lies have you told in your life, one or two if not thousands in your lifetime? You may not practice stealing, but if you have ever taken something that wasn’t yours at any point of your life, you are a thief and subject to judgment as am I.
Or in the case of adultery, You can say that you have been faithful to your spouse or pure until marriage, but just one lustful thought makes you just as guilty. Jesus said that even,” if you look with lust you have committed adultery with that person in your heart, ~ Matthew 5:28. In the case of murder, Jesus warned “Whoever is angry with his brother without cause, is in danger of judgment,” ~ Matthew 5:22, and the Bible says, “He who hates his brother is a murderer,” ~ 1 John 3:15
You can visibly see the contrast to the standard set by men and that set by God. While most men look at the outward of a person, God sees the heart ~ Proverbs 15:11
Lastly, if anyone were to give their life for you, it would be an impossible feat to earn it. What could one do to deserve someone paying such a high price for the freedoms we cherish? What task could you accomplish? Thinking of one leaves your mind at a blank.
Christ however did not die to rescue us from war or some atrocity, but from the wrath of God in which took upon Himself when he was on the cross ~1 Thessalonians 1:10. Some have questioned that how could one man pay for the sins of all men that has ever lived. The answer is that, that one man was worth more than all those other men put together. Because He was God. So how could we earn that?
My friends, look at God’s law, look at your sin. Then look at the cross, look what our God did for us. While it can’t be earned, there should be a sense of gratitude, a thankfulness. A longing for repentance or turning from sin. Place all of your trust in the one that paid for your sins and lives today, the only one who deserves it and that has given all so you could be free… Repent and trust in Christ for the forgiveness of your sin. ~ Whats next? check out our website or read Save Yourself Some Pain by clicking this link
Note to fellow Christians:
Has God saved you? If so, He should be the most important thing to you. How many people do you know that aren’t saved? How many do you know that if they were to die today, may go to hell? Christ did not simply give his life so we could build big building and gather a few times a week to talk about how great and good He is. He gave His life to save us, without hesitation he did this. Because He loved us and desired to please His father. If it was that important for Christ to give His life to see sinners saved, shouldn’t it be just as important to us as well? Do not keep this message to yourselves, live a life worthy of the cross. . May God know to all men..Share the gospel.
Light the darkness~