Summary: Christians have a Memorial Day each and every first day of the week. “Do this in remembrance of me” The Lord’s Supper is a memorial that allows us to remember what Jesus did for us on the cross.
Remembering is so very important. There are people, places and events that we remember. We leave ourselves reminder notes to help us remember to get things done on time.
A man was working in his backyard one day, when his neighbor began talking to him over the fence. He said, "Yeah, my wife and I went to one of those seminars yesterday, you know, where they teach you ways to improve your memory and such."
His neighbor commented, "Really. What was the name of the speaker?"
The man answered, "Ah, ah, what's the name of that flower that smells so good and has thorns?"
"You mean a rose?"
"Yeah, that's it." He called over his shoulder, "Rose, what was the name of that speaker we heard yesterday?"
We often have a hard time remembering things. My memory has gotten so bad I figure that within a few years I'll be able to hide my own Easter eggs.
The Lord knows how short our memories are, so throughout the Bible we find Him reminding us of things again and again, and even doing things to help us remember. Jesus used parables and items around Him in those parables, to help people remember what He taught; but in the whole Bible there is no reminder more important or significant than the one He established the night before His crucifixion. It is Communion, the Lord's Supper, our Memorial Meal.
There are other memorials built to people and causes remembering the people and the sacrifices and accomplishments that they made for our freedom.
I’ve read that Memorial Day was originally begun by former slaves on May, 1, 1865. The ceremony was held in Charleston, SC to honor 257 dead Union Soldiers who had been buried in a mass grave in a Confederate prison camp. The former slaves dug up the bodies and worked for 2 weeks to give them a proper burial.
Then they held a parade of 10,000 people led by 2,800 black children who marched through the streets celebrating the sacrifice of these men.
Now, the first “official” Memorial Day was celebrated a few years later. I read that a group of women asked the War Department for permission to put flowers on the graves of soldiers buried at Arlington Cemetery. Permission was finally granted to do so, but a stern order was attached to the permission: No flowers were to be placed on the graves of the Confederate soldiers.
The confederates were buried in a segregated section of the cemetery.
The ladies carried out their task and carefully followed their instructions. A crowd gathered for the commemoration at which General Grant gave a speech.
But shortly after the ceremony concluded, they say a strong gust of wind blew through the cemetery… and the wind blew almost all the flowers into the Confederate section.
After that the separation was never repeated. Many believed that the wind had sent by the hand of God. Now, how many of you knew that about Memorial Day?
And yet, even though that event took place a mere 150 years ago, not only do many folks not know that Memorial Day was begun after the Civil War, but there are many who don’t know that Memorial Day has since been set aside to honor the dead of all American wars since that date.
Christians have a Memorial Day each and every first day of the week. “Do this in remembrance of me” The Lord’s Supper is a memorial that allows us to remember what Jesus did for us on the cross. The Lord’s Supper is a living Memorial to Christ. All our thoughts and our focus should be on Christ as we remember and celebrate the freedom we received from sin. The Lord’s Supper is a time of thanksgiving! Jesus was with His disciples in the upper room and He instructed them concerning a new memorial feast.
Matthew 26:26 (NIV)
26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”
We eat the bread in memory of Christ’s body, in memory of His sacrificial death.
Matthew 26:27-28 (NIV)
27 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
We drink the fruit of the vine in memory of Christ’s blood that was shed on the cross, and further reminds us that only through the shed blood of Christ on the cross can we have forgiveness of sins.
1 Corinthians 11:24 (NIV)
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.”