Summary: Build a memorial of the great things that God has done for you in your life. He has been good to us. He has blessed us beyond measure. When we didn’t deserve it God was good to us.
Memorial Day is a public legal holiday in the United States of America and among its armed forces worldwide. It honors U.S. citizens who have died in war fighting for the freedom that we now enjoy. This day was originally set aside to honor those who died in the Civil War and then later on it was expanded to include all those U.S. citizens who have died in any war defending our great country. National observance is marked officially by the placing of a wreath on the tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
The purpose of this holiday is said to be this: It is for the purpose of remembering and of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in the defense of our country. It is a holiday for us to simply remember the price that was paid for our freedom.
I wonder though how many of us remembered what the holiday was for. I wonder if any of us took the time on Memorial Day to think about those who gave their lives for our freedom. I wonder if us parents gathered our children around and explained to them the reason for the holiday.
In Washington D.C. there stands a stately monument called the Lincoln Memorial. It honors President Abraham Lincoln and the virtues of tolerance, honesty, and faithfulness in the human spirit. It was designed by Henry Bacon on a plan similar to that of the Parthenon in Athens. The structure includes 36 columns, each 44 feet high, made of Colorado marble. They surround the building one for each state that comprised the Union in Lincoln’s time. Inside, there sits a colossal 19foot seated statue of Lincoln that is made out of Georgia white marble. It sits on a pedestal of Tennessee marble and was designed by Daniel Chester French and carved by the Piccirilli brothers of New York. The statue dominates the interior and looks eastward across a reflecting pool at the Washington Monument and Capital. On the south wall is inscribed Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and on the north wall is his second Inaugural Address. Above are two paintings by Jules Guerin representing first “Reunion and Progress” and second “The Emancipation of a Race.” The cornerstone was laid in 1915 and it was completed and dedicated on Memorial Day in 1922.
We have the Lincoln Memorial to help us remember what a great man President Lincoln was and to help us remember the things that he accomplished while he was alive.
A memorial helps us keep a memory of something significant that has happened alive in our hearts and minds.
All throughout the Bible God has ordained that there would be memorials. He has instituted the practice of building and having memorials in our life. It is beneficial for us to remember the things that Jesus has done in each of our lives.
In a Biblical sense a memorial is a sacrifice, a monument or an event that brings us into remembrance of something that God has done. The word memorial in scripture comes from a word that means to prick, to pierce, or to penetrate the memory.
The Bible says that the memory of the righteous is a blessing and it says of the wicked that his memory perishes from the earth.
So memorials are to aid man’s memory in preserving what he cherishes the most.
The very first Passover was to be a memorial to the Jewish people forever. It would serve to remind them how God spared their firstborn and how He delivered them from Egyptian bondage.
12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD.
13 And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.
14 And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.
Every Passover that goes by should be a reminder to the Jewish people that it could have been their firstborn that died in the land of Egypt. Every Passover that goes by should remind the Jewish people of how God delivered them from bondage with a mighty hand.
The Israelites when they were in the wilderness were commanded to take a pot and fill it with manna. They were instructed to do that so they would not forget how God had provided for them.