by Stephen Whitney

This content is part of a series.

Victory in Death (4 of 4)
Series: Sayings from the Cross
Stephen Whitney
John 19:28-30

During the dark, early days of the Civil War a medal was adopted to inspire the citizen soldiers who filled the ranks of the Union Army. From its modest beginning the medal came to represent the highest honor the nation could bestow on a soldier.

In the 130 years of its history only some 3,400 soldiers have earned the nation's highest decoration for valor. More than half of them received it after they died. The medal is modest. It is a bright bronze star suspended from a pale-blue ribbon with 13 tiny white stars just above the medal and called The Medal of Honor.

It is a tribute to those individuals who demonstrated courage above and beyond the call of duty. It is officially awarded for: ''The deliberate decision to sacrifice yourself so that others might live.''

It is willing giving up your safety so that someone else might live. During the Passover supper, just hours before he was arrested, in John 15:13 Jesus said to his disciples, ''Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.''

He knew he was going to give up his life as a sacrifice for them. He would willingly die so they could be forgiven of their sins. He would physically die so they could spiritually have life.

Background Jesus had been crucified about 9am and from 12 noon until 3pm there had been complete darkness over the land as a sign of God's judgment upon the sin of the world.

About 3pm after 6 hours on the cross Jesus had cried out, ''My God, my God why have you forsaken me?'' (Matt. 27:46). He knew that God was punishing him for the sins of the world. The time was near for him to give up his life for our salvation.

II Cor. 5:21 God made Christ who had no sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in him. SCRIPTURE FULFILLED :28-29 I thirst :28 At this point Jesus knew that all of the OT prophecies about his crucifixion were ...

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