Since its opening in 1982 that stark monument has stirred deep emotions. Many visitors walk its length slowly and reverently. Some stop before certain names, remembering their son, their sweetheart, their husband or father or brother or relative or friend, wiping away tears and often tracing their names with their fingers.
For three Vietnam veterans,
ROBERT BEDKER, WILLIAM CRAIG and DARRELL LAUSCH,
a visit to the memorial must be especially poignant.
They can walk along the long ebony wall and
FIND THEIR OWN NAMES
CARVED IN THE STONE.
Because of data coding errors, each of them
was incorrectly listed as killed in action.
They are listed as DEAD but they are ALIVE
DEAD BUT ALIVE!
Isn’t that (shouldn’t that) be an adequate description of the Christian?
Jesus said that if anyone wanted to be His follower, he must take up his cross.
[Mark 8:34. Matt 10:38-39, 16:24-26, Luke 9:23-25]
As anyone who originally heard those words would have understood,
the only person who carried a cross was on his way to death
– as good as dead, for there was no way out.
Jesus was clearly saying that to be His disciple,
we need to count ourselves – our own desires, our own will –
Paul continued the thought in Romans, saying our old nature is crucified with Christ,
that we are dead to sin but alive unto God.
We are DEAD.
We are crucified with Christ.
We are dead to sin; dead to self and self-will,
but . . .
we are ALIVE in Christ.
We are risen with Christ, alive in Him,
living in the power of His resurrection.
I have been crucified with Christ.
It is no longer I who lives, but Christ lives in me;
and the life which I now live in the flesh
I live by faith in the Son of God
who loved me and gave Himself for me.
Salvation is free
but discipleship costs everything we are and everything we have
Is that a high cost? Definitely NO!
God is no man’s debtor.
God gives so much MORE to the person who leaves all choices with Him.