Two Kinds of Soldiers

I recently received a no-doubt broadly sent email that shared some interesting facts about the soldiers who guard the tomb of the Unknowns. Even if you’ve seen it, please let me share them now again.

The soldiers who guard the tomb must meet specific physical requirements, and commit two years of life to guard the tomb. They must live in a barracks under the tomb, and cannot drink any alcohol on or off duty for the rest of their lives. They cannot swear in public for the rest of their lives and cannot disgrace the uniform or the tomb in any way. After two years, the guard is given a wreath pin that is worn on their lapel signifying they served as guards of the tomb. There are only 400 presently worn. The guard must obey these rules for the rest of their lives or give up the wreath pin.

During the first six months of duty a guard cannot talk to anyone or watch TV. All off duty time is spent studying the 175 notable people laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery. A guard must memorize who they are and where they are interred. Every guard spends five hours a day getting his uniforms ready for guard duty, making sure there are no wrinkles, folds or lint on the uniform. In 2003 as Hurricane Isabelle was approaching they were given permission to suspend the assignment, but respectfully declined the offer. Soaked to the skin, marching in the pelting rain of a tropical storm, they said guarding the tomb was not just an assignment, it was the highest honor that can be afforded to a service person.

Now, contrast that with the soldiers who guarded the tomb of Christ.

“Behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it. And his appearance was like lightning, and his garment as white as snow; and the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.”

“Behold, some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests all that had happened. And when they had assembled with the elders and counseled together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, and said, ‘You are to say, “His disciples came by night and stole Him away while we were asleep.’ And they took the money and did as they had been instructed;”

When standing guard over the reputation of the risen Christ, which guard do you most resemble?

God Bless, Rick

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