After I gave blood a couple years ago, the blood bank gave me a t-shirt to thankNo substitute for blood me  for my donation. It includes the statement, “There is no substitute for blood.”

As we take time on Memorial Day today to remember those who have given their blood and their lives for our freedom, this seems like an appropriate statement. We all wish there were a way to resolve world conflict without the sacrifice of blood, but sinful and prideful people make that impossible. There will always be men who use violence and power to take away the freedoms of others. As free people, we recognize that freedom does not come without sacrifice.

Those of us who recognize and appreciate the sacrifices that have been made for us can only respond in gratitude. The ultimate sacrifice of blood, of course, was when God’s Son Jesus gave His life on the cross. “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13, ESV).”

We can honor the sacrifice of Jesus, and the sacrifice of soldiers throughout our history, in the way we live and serve others, so that God can be glorified.

Take a few minutes today to thank God for the gift of blood that gave you freedom, because, indeed, there is no substitute for blood.