INTRODUCTION: This weekend is more than just a time to get an extra
day off, to cook outdoors, to be with family, to enjoy concerts, races,
and ball games. It is a special time set apart by our nation to remember
those men and women who gave the supreme price that our land might be free.
How did this begin? This is a matter of debate. Some claim
the custom of honoring war dead began in Boalsburg, Pennsylvania. Others
claim the custom was originated by some Southern women who placed flowers
on the graves of both Union and Confederate soldiers after the Civil War.
According to one writer, the first Memorial Day service took place on
May 30, 1866, on Belle Isle, a burial ground for Union soldiers in the
St. James River, at Richmond, Virginia. The school superintendent and the
mayor planned the program of hymns and speeches and had the burial ground
decorated with flowers. In 1966, however, the U.S. government proclaimed
that Waterloo, New York, was the birthplace of Memorial Day. On May 5,
1865, the people of Waterloo had honored soldiers who had died in the Civil
War. It is sometimes called Decoration Day in the South.
But whatever the origin, it is good for people to stop and remember.
People have a tendency to forget, and with forgetting comes ingratitude.
Such is true as well with spiritual things. Let's think about memorials
and the child of God.
I. WHAT DO WE MEAN BY A MEMORIAL?
A. What is a memorial?
1. "Something, such as a monument or holiday, intended to celebrate
or honor the memory of a person or an event. 2. A written statement of
facts or a petition presented to a legislative body or an executive. --
1. Serving as a remembrance of a person or an event; commemorative. 2.
Of, relating to, or being in memory" (American Heritage Dictionary)
B. We use memorial in various ways today.
2. The whole thrust behind a memorial is to keep in memory some person,
action, or event that contributed to others in some positive way. It also
can keep in memory some terrible event in an effort to help people remember
1. We set aside certain days to remember people or events.
2. We have "memorial services" to remember those who have died.
3. We name various ships, highways, buildings, etc. after others to
remember their service.
4. We have monuments in cemeteries as memorials for our loved ones.
II. THE OLD TESTAMENT SPOKE OF A NUMBER OF MEMORIALS. ( A FEW EXAMPLES)
A. The rainbow is a memorial to the word of the Lord.
III. THE NEW TESTAMENT SPEAKS OF SOME MEMORIALS, TOO.
1. Genesis 9:12-17
B. The Passover was a memorial.
2. It was a remembrance (memorial) between both God and man. God would
remember that He had promised to never again destroy the earth by water,
and when man saw the remember he would remember the faithfulness of God
in His promise.
1. Exodus 12:1-14
C. The tribes of Israel setting up a memorial to God when they crossed
2. The Passover included both a supernatural element and a memorial.
a. The first one would be supernatural in that when the Lord
came through Egypt He would kill the first born of every household, except
those who had kept the Passover and placed the blood on the doorpost for
God to see.
b. It would be a memorial in that the children of Israel would keep
it each year and remember the first one in which God delivered them from
slavery in Egypt. Each generation would remember that God could deliver
them from anything, provided they remained faithful.
1. Joshua 4:4-7
2. What was this memorial and what was it's purpose?
a. A representative from each of the twelve tribes were to
take a stone out of the Jordan from where the priests crossed over the
Jordan on dry land. There were to then use the stones to make a memorial
b. It's purpose? Each generation of Israelite after that would see them
and remember that God and, by His awesome power, caused the priests and
the people to cross over the Jordan during flood stage on dry land. Each
generation would see and remember that their God was an awesome God and
fully capable to care for and protect them.
A. The woman with the alabaster flask.
1. Matthew 26:6-13
B. The prayers of Cornelius
2. Jesus said that her act would stand as a memorial to her for as long
as the gospel would be preached.
3. Why did the Lord tell his complaining disciples that her action would
stand as a memorial?
a. Showed a level of faith in the Lord that most of the apostles
did not possess, even though they had been with him far more than her.
b. She showed a sacrificial attitude toward her service for the Lord.
She gave her best! (Romans 12:1-2)
c. There was a multitude of people during Jesus' day, some of which
were good persons, who have died and been forgotten. By her one righteous
action she will be remember until the end of time!
1. Acts 10:1-4
C. The Lord's Supper
2. This was the type of memorial that no one knew about. It was unlike
the prayers of the pharisees, who prayed to be seen by men (Matthew 6:5).
Cornelius' prayers were seen by God and the beautiful thing about his prayers
was that it caused God Himself to remember him.
3. They were the prayers of a man who was diligently seeking God and
wanting to please Him. God saw that and remembered in sending a gospel
preacher to bring the truth to Cornelius.
1. 1 Corinthians 11:24-25
2. Christians are to remember Jesus when they take the Lord's Supper.
a. We are to look back to the Lord=92s death and agony on the
cross for them.
b. We are to look forward ("till he comes") to the Lord's return.
c. We are to look to ourselves (verse 28)
d. We remember that Jesus cleansed our sins in his blood.
e. By doing so we carry out a continual instructive exercise. ("You
proclaim the Lord's death" - verse 26)
CONCLUSION: It is wonderful to remember our men who gave their all for
our freedom. But for the child of God it is far better to remember our
God's great work and what our Lord did for us on the cross.
Copyright 2000 by Grady
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