Summary: Remembering the dead and Honoring the living
INTRO: David Banner (Incredible Hulk), talking with a terminal cancer victim, told this story: “A man was running for his life from a tiger and he fell down a cliff but luckily got a branch as the tiger was pawing at him. He was about to let go (fall would survive, but live). He looked down to see a hungry tiger looking up as the branch was pulling out he noticed a plant and on this plant was a bright red strawberry. So he reached out and ate it, and oh, how good it tasted. That’s what we need to do
- reach out and taste the strawberries of life or stop and smell the roses. We will all die someday so we need to make the most of life.
TITLE: Remember the dead, honor the living, and avoid the pitfalls!
TEXT: I Cor. 11:23-26
I. Remember the dead.
A. Background on Memorial Day - Also called Decoration Day. It’s honoring U.S. citizens who have died in a war. Originally commemoration soldiers killed in the American Civil War, which later extended to all U.S. war dead.
National observance is marked officially by the placing of a wreath on the Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
Word memorial means to aid man’s memory.
B. Biblical examples of memorials.
1. Passover - Moses sent by God to free Hebrews, plagues sent, Pharaoh refuses. God sends death angel to kill first-born. Hebrews instructed lamb blood above door post so death angel pass by.
2. Lord’s Supper - Communion - I Cor. 11:23-26 (READ)
Memorial what Jesus Christ did for us on the cross. Bread represents body which was broken for us. Juice represents his blood which washes away our sins (New Covenant).
C. Why are memorials important?
1. Heritage, roots - important to know where you came from, what your family was like (traditions).
ex Alex Haley “Roots”
Interesting: Adopted children desiring to know who their parents were, their heritage.
2. Memorials important - Learn from the past: Scholars tell us history repeats itself (meaning people keep repeating the same mistakes because they don’t learn from the past).
ex Old Testament (hard to read because it’s redundant) people get under bondage, cry out to God, God raises up a prophet, priest, king, judge. Nation draws closer to God, people become lax or leader dies off. People fall into sin and bondage, people cry out, God raises up someone.
3. Memorials important - Learn from the past: Reading or by listening to those older (experience).
Challenge us - books on martyrs or follow in parent’s footsteps.
a. Traditions - birthdays, anniversaries, special events.
* Memorials also help us remember people or things that changed our lives (very meaningful -markers so to speak, that we can fall back on in times of trouble).
D. When memorials are wrong.
1. When the dead become more important than the living or the things that stand as memorials are more important as the living.
ex Elvis Presley, every year - obsession.
ex…Relative treated the dead better than the living.
TS: It’s more important to honor the living than the dead.
II. Honor the living (some ways).
A. Respect people -
1. Elderly - Lev. 19:32 - “Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God.”
2. Parents - Deut. 27:16 - “Cursed is the man who dishonors his father and mother.”
3. People - I Peter 2:17 - “Show proper respect to everyone: love the brotherhood of believers, fear God and honor the King.”
Jude v. 9 - Respect people because they are a creation of God. It’s easy to respect people you hold in high value.
B. Restore the wounded - Gal. 6:1 - “Brothers, if someone is caught in sin, you who are spiritual, should restore him gently, but watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.”
-Restore GK (medical term mending a broken bone).
1. Spiritual ones only - because more damage can be done!
ex Nurse in training drawing blood (student nurse).
2. Gently - a true consideration for the welfare of person (slowly, cautious).
*Concern to truly help restore (no desire to get pats on the back).
3. Paul warns us to be on our guard so we don’t fall into temptation.
ex Gary doing drugs with clients.
* We’re in a war (soldiers of Christ) and we have casualties! Casualties need help. They need people who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty. Sadly, what often happens these casualties get dragged in front of a firing squad.
C. Not to judge or condemn - Matt. 7:1 - “Do not judge, or you will be judged.”
-Jesus Christ is talking about an attitude “someone judging others in order to make themselves feel better (judgment in negative sense).