She stood tall and stately draped with her prestigious medal of honor around her neck. Lucca, a six year Marine veteran and the first canine to receive the highest military honor for service, certainly earned the recognition. The twelve-year old German Shepherd has served in over four hundred missions sniffing out explosive devices and detecting deadly threats. Under the protection of her watchful eye and keen nose Lucca never lost a single Marine in her company.
That's not to say Lucca didn't see imminent, life-threatening danger. Peril was at every turn. On one particular mission Lucca discovered a massive explosive device. Troops expertly neutralized the threat as Lucca searched for more. And she found it. A bomb exploded right under her feet, causing her to instantly lose her front leg and suffer severe burns up and down her chest.
Lucca's comrades, all saved from the explosion, were able to pull their hero from the destruction. After surgery and treatment she proved that you can't keep a warrior down by standing on her three legs just ten days later, walking when doctors didn't even know if she'd survive her injuries. Upon her recovery Lucca retired from military service with honor and valor. Her life-long handler returned to civilian life with the courageous hero credited with saving countless lives and sparing the destruction of entire communities.
Lucca displayed the greatest love of all, to lay down one's life for a friend. Lucca went to the front lines of battle willing to sacrifice her everything for the protection of the Marines in her care. When danger called Lucca went running. When a threat was in the air Lucca went ahead of her fellow Marines, risking her life first in an effort to save the soldiers behind her.
Lucca, the exemplary canine bearing a great medal of honor, is more than an example of military heroism. She is a picture of Christ-like sacrifice. Lucca displayed the love of our Savior who endured death to save sinners. The perfect Lord of Lords, undeserving of the brutality of the cross, willingly suffered the agony of that long, torturous death to spare the lives of the guilty.
When Lucca saw a bomb, she ran towards it and ultimately took the blast. Jesus saw eternal death and destruction for you and I, and took up His cross.
Jesus rose again as more than a hero. He rose as Savior, Conqueror and King. He rose to give new life to everyone who seeks His protection. He deserves all honor, glory and praise. He deserves more than a medal and a ceremony.
Jesus Christ, the Warrior King, is worthy of our everything.