Near the main entrance of Westminster Abbey lies The Tomb of the Unknown Warrior. Brought from the battlefield of the Western Front and buried ‘amongst the kings’ this unknown soldier represents the countless thousands who gave their lives in the First World War.
His body was laid to rest on 11thNovember 1920 in the presence of the Royal Family, and ministers of state. Also there were over one hundred women, chosen because they had lost their husbands and all their sons in the war. The grief they felt was particularly acute.
Some two thousand years earlier another mother had stood grief-stricken as she watched her son also make the ultimate sacrifice. Giving up his life to secure the freedom of others, it was his sacrifice that inspired the soldiers of the war to make theirs. Inscribed around the tomb in the Abbey are his words ‘Greater love hath no man than this’, a quotation that continues ‘that a man lay down his life for his friends’.
Sadly the ‘war to end all wars’ proved to be nothing of the kind. By contrast the death of that one man, Jesus Christ, achieved a wonderful and more lasting victory over sin – the cause of all conflict – and death itself. No wonder his last words before dying were a cry of victory, ‘It is finished!”