Summary: Seeking to honor those who have died in service to our country and remembering Jesus Christ and his sacrifice every Sunday. What will our memorial be?
A MEMORIAL DAY MESSAGE
Tomorrow is Memorial Day. It is a day set aside to remember the men and women who have given their lives to keep this country free. It is because of their sacrifice that we are able to sit here and freely worship today. As the saying goes, “Freedom isn’t free”.
We have a memorial every Sunday morning to our Lord Jesus Christ. Because he gave his life for us, we can have freedom from sin and eternal life with him.
Some day there will be a memorial for each of us. What kind of legacy will we leave behind?
I. Memorial Day
Memorial Day is an official holiday in most states. It is also known as Decoration Day. The custom of putting flowers on war graves began in 1866 in Waterloo, NY. After WWI, the day was set aside to honor the dead of all American wars. The most solemn ceremony is at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers at Arlington National Cemetary.
Many see this day as just a 3 day weekend or an extra day off. But for those who have lost loved ones in war, it is much more important. All of us as Americans should take time to remember that the freedoms we enjoy are owed to the brave men and women who have died in service to our country, and to those who are serving today. Because of them, we can freely proclaim the word of God. We have the right to live at peace in our homes. We have the rights of life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness.
Let’s go to God in prayer: thank God for those who died protecting this nation.
We celebrate Memorial Day once a year, but every week we hold a memorial of Christ. Every Sunday is Memorial Day for the Christian.
II. Remembering Christ
In our memorial to Christ, we mourn the loss, remember the life, and are thankful for the sacrifice.
A. Mourn the Loss
On the Lord’s memorial day, we are to examine our responsibility to Christ. It is because of our sins that he had to die on the cross. Romans 3:23 says that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. We must recognize that we are as much to blame as the Jews who cried out for his crucifixion. He was humiliated, beaten, spit upon, and hung on the cross because I have sinned.
We must recognize that he would have died to save even just one sinner. That is how great his love for us is. Look at Matthew 18:12-14.
Jesus died so that we could all have the chance at eternal life. He did it freely and willingly. He died to defeat sin once and for all, that it would no longer reign over us, but that through the blood of Christ, we could have righteousness.
Romans 6:3-4; 11-14; 22-23
B. Remember the Life
What must we remember about Jesus?
We should remember how he lived and what he taught. He set a glorious example of how to live life through love. Our lives should reflect that love. Jesus lived a life that is full of instruction for us. He showed love to everyone he came into contact with. He healed the sick, raised the dead, and taught by example how to live a righteous life before God.
He experienced pain, hunger, loneliness, temptation, joy, happiness, and all of the other emotions that we experience. He did this so that we would have a sympathetic High Priest, who understands what we are going through because he also experienced it.
As we gather around the Lord’s Table every Sunday morning, we remember the sacrifice that Jesus made. We commune with him as we partake of the emblems that represent his body and his blood. Just as the disciples communed with him when he instituted the memorial. As was read in our scripture this morning, as often as we observe this memorial, we proclaim his death until he comes again. We are to do this in a particular manner. If we approach this memorial in the proper attitude, we will experience spiritual growth. In I Corinthians 11:27-29, we have warnings about partaking the Lord’s Supper in a wrong way.
C. We are Thankful for the Sacrifice
The price Jesus paid on the cross has afforded us salvation. We have toe promise of salvation and we did nothing to deserve it. That is the definitionof grace: unmerited favor. For this we must be thankful.
Look at Hebrews 9:11-14
When you were baptized, you stepped up to the baptistry as a lost, unclean sinner. You confessed your faith in Jesus and were immersed in the watery grave in order to die to your sins and to contact the blood of Christ. You then rise up to walk a new kind of life. Three gifts are given at that time. The forgiveness of your sins, the gift of the holy spirit, and the promise of eternal life if you live faithfully.