It is Memorial Day weekend, and I hope that you have something planned with your friends and family. Most of us think of this time as a time to have a get-together, where we might have a cookout or maybe even a trip to the lake. Memorial Day is actually a time to remember those who gave their lives in service of our country and to also remember the Veterans and those who currently serve today. I agree that this is an important day, and I am sure that many of you also take this time to visit cemeteries and place flowers on gravesites. I began thinking about the day and what memorial stands for. I didn’t look the word up in the dictionary, but to me, it means “something” that makes you have a memory of someone, someplace, or something, so that it won’t be forgotten. In a Bible concordance, the word memorial meant, “forgetfulness of God.”
I have been slowly making my way through Exodus and Deutoromany, and there have been several mentions of a memorial.
14 “This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord—a lasting ordinance.
The Passover was a reminder of God’s love of His people. It was a reminder of how He brought plagues on the Egyptians, and how He even struck down their first-born child, while not touching a hair on anyone who had obeyed His command of putting blood on the door seal.
There were more memorials in Exodus. In Exodus 16:32, the Lord reminded the people that He will always take care of their needs.
32 Moses said, “This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Take an omer of manna and keep it for the generations to come, so they can see the bread I gave you to eat in the wilderness when I brought you out of Egypt.’”
When they were in the desert, the Lord provided them with manna to eat. They were in a desert, yet they had provisions daily from the Lord. Later in Exodus, the Lord established a covenant, and a memorial was established to record the names of the tribes of Israel. Exodus 28:12
27 “See!” he said to all the people. “This stone will be a witness against us. It has heard all the words the Lord has said to us. It will be a witness against you if you are untrue to your God.”
When Joshua led the Israelites into the Promised Land, a memorial was erected as a reminder of how faithful the Lord is to those who are faithful and obey Him. But, there is another memorial, that I think trumps all the others.
Do This In Remembrance of Me
At the Last Supper, Jesus passes on a lot of information to the Disciples. I am sure that they did not completely understand what was to come, and were probably slightly confused. However, the Lord wanted to make sure that they were equipped to carry on His work when He was no longer in their presence. Plus, He wanted them to have a way of remembering Him and the sacrifice that was coming.
1 Corinthians 11:23-24
23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.”
The bread and the wine are symbols of Jesus’s body and His blood. But they are also a reminder of His ultimate sacrifice on our behalf. He gave His life so that we might have a chance at Eternal salvation.
All Memorials have a season or a reason to help us remember, and this Memorial Day is for those who gave their lives in the service of their country. Let’s also take a few minutes and thank the Lord who gave His life for “all” of us.
Have a Blessed Day!