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The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Unknown SoldierSometimes we take our freedom in the natural and our freedom in the spiritual for granted.

The Tomb of the Unknowns in the Arlington National Cemetery represents the men and women who lost their lives on the battlefields of war. These soldiers gave the ultimate sacrifice so others can experience freedom. And since 1937, a sentinel has guarded The Tomb of the Unknowns 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

In Jerusalem, an empty tomb stands unguarded. This tomb represents something greater than our natural freedom. It represents the freedom Jesus Christ won for all mankind through His death on the Cross of Calvary.

As we remember the brave men and women who gave their lives so we might live in freedom,let’s also remember the freedom we have in Christ. And let’s walk in our complete freedom, both spiritually and naturally.

Below are some interesting facts about the Tomb of the Unknowns.*

  • Arlington National Cemetery opened as a military cemetery on June 15, 1864.
  • The interment of the World War I Unknown Soldier happened on November 11, 1921.
  • The first 24-hour guard was posted on July 2, 1937.
  • The double interment of the World War II and Korean War Unknown Soldiers occurred on May 30, 1958.
  • The interment of the Vietnam Unknown Soldier took place on May 28, 1984.
  • On May 14, 1998, the Vietnam Unknown Soldier was disinterred. (The remains were positively identified by DNA to be 1LT Michael J. Blassie, US Air Force.)
  • The Vietnam Unknown Crypt Cover was re-dedicated on September 17, 1999.
  • The United States Army has been the only military service to guard the Unknown Soldiers.
  • The 3d US Infantry (The Old Guard) assumed the sole responsibility of guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on April 6, 1948.
  • The Tomb Guard takes 21 steps, stops on the 21st step, then turns and faces the Tomb for 21 seconds.
  • He then turns to face back down the mat, changes his weapon to the outside shoulder, counts 21 seconds, then steps off for another 21 step walk down the mat. These steps are repeated over and over until the Sentinel is relieved at Guard Change.
  • The 21 steps allude to the twenty-one gun salute, which is the highest honor given to any military or foreign dignitary.

*Information is taken from www.tombguard.org.

To learn more about the spiritual freedom that Christ wrought for you on the Cross of Calvary, see the expanded version below!

Freedom Belongs to You!

On Memorial Day, many Americans proudly display the United States flag. It’s because of what our flag represents that we experience many of our freedoms. We are free to travel as we please, when we please. We are free to go where we choose, when we choose. We enjoy religious freedom and are free to attend the church of our choice—at the time of our choice.

There is another flag that born-again believers honor. It’s the Christian flag, which displays a red cross in a field of blue on a white background. This flag also stands for freedom. Because of the redemptive work of Jesus, we can now live in and enjoy spiritual freedom.

Jesus battled Satan and stripped him of the dominion he held over mankind. Ephesians 1:22–23 says, “And God placed all things under [Jesus’] feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way” (NIV).

We see from this verse that Jesus is the Head of the Church, and the devil is under Jesus’ feet. And since we are the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:27), Satan is under our feet as well.

I love to proclaim the freedom I have as an American, the freedom that was purchased on our own soil and on foreign battle fields by the blood of countless Americans.

I also love to proclaim my freedom in Christ. Because Jesus went to a place called Golgotha and laid down His life, His blood was shed so all mankind might be spiritually free. We’ve been redeemed from sickness, sin, and poverty!

This redemption is one of righteousness. Second Corinthians 5:21 says, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

Many people have their thinking mixed up when it comes to righteousness. They think that righteousness is some spiritual status they must attain. But that’s not true. Righteousness is “right-standing with God.” Anyone who has been born again through the blood of Christ is righteous. They are not going to get any more righteous than they are right now.

Growing in God and gaining more knowledge of  “who God is” has nothing to do with righteousness. You see, someone who just got saved is just as righteous as the person who’s been saved for 35 years.

Although righteousness has nothing to do with spiritual growth, it’s imperative that we grow spiritually. In fact, the Apostle Paul talks to us about the fact that we need to be weaned of the “milk” of the Word and begin “eating meat.” (Heb. 5:12.)

Naturally speaking, there comes a point in every child’s life when a parent will say, “You’re old enough to pick up your toys.” Or, “You’re old enough to get the milk from the refrigerator and the cereal from the cupboard.”

Like young children, Christians must also grow up. We must learn who we are in Christ and begin operating in the authority we have in Jesus. You see, Jesus did everything He is going to do. He obtained salvation, healing, prosperity, happiness, health, and peace for us. Now it’s up to us to walk in the freedom that was bought with His blood. If we don’t, the devil will steal it from us.

Remember, you are the one who controls your destiny. You’re the one who determines whether you live in peace and happiness or not. The determining factor is you! Not God, not the preacher, but you!

Decide right now that you are not going to allow the devil to steal what Christ obtained for you. Determine that you will walk in everything that God says is yours.

Stand up to the devil and say, “Satan, you have no authority in my life. I’m God’s property. God’s kingdom rules in my life.”

Colossians 2:15 says that Jesus disarmed powers and authorities and made a public spectacle of them. Don’t run from the devil anymore. The only power he has over you is what you give him.

As we remember the brave men and women who fought valiantly for our country, let us not forget what Christ did for us on the Cross. Let’s walk in our freedom, both spiritually and naturally and never let anyone or anything take it away.