(F)ixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy that was set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2 NIV)
During the summer, when Luke was still 12, we watched “Saving Private Ryan” together. I made sure that we watched the movie together as he watched it for the first time in his life. I decided to do this because I wanted to be there with him as he watched those gruesome scenes for the first 20 minutes of the film. If you have watched “Saving Private Ryan”, you will know what I am talking about. Steven Spielberg won his 2nd Academy Award for best director for this film which was released in 1998. As he made the film, he actually consulted the soldiers who landed on the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944. The Allies called this landing on June 6, 1944, D-Day.
Back to the film. The film is regarded as a masterpiece by critics because in its first 20 minutes, Spielberg truly captures what it means to have landed on the beach on June 6, 1944. Many soldiers died or lost parts of their bodies as they were under heavy bombardment or machine gun fire. I wanted to make sure that as Luke saw these scenes that I would be there beside him to guide him through the horrors of war.
Yesterday, (June 6, 2019) we gave honour to the soldiers who sacrificed so much at D-Day. It was the 75th anniversary of that day. Those soldiers gave so much so that we can live in peace today.
History seems to give more importance to D-Day (June 6, 1944) rather than VE Day (Victory in Europe Day, May 8, 1945) when victory was secured in Europe. Historians tell us that VE Day was made possible because of D-Day. After the Allies secured the beaches of Normandy, victory was inevitable for the Allies.
When put this way, then D-Day becomes even more important. It was the first important step to the end of World War 2 in Europe. The gruesomeness of D-Day that I explain to my son, Luke, is put into its perspective.
This is also how I would explain the first landing of Jesus Christ. He was born on Christmas Day, lived his 33 years in Israel, died on Good Friday, resurrected on Easter Sunday and then ascended on Ascension Day. This landing by God as a human being is the D-Day of God’s plan for humanity. We all now live in the period between D-Day and VE Day. One day, Jesus will come again for us, which will be VE Day for us. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. (Revelation 21:4 NIV)
Pastor Pye