Summary: Our nation was saved by the shedding of blood, our soul's are saved by the shedding of Jesus' blood.
John 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
What do you think of when you think of Memorial Day - the beginning of summer vacation, barbecues in the back yard, family get-togethers?
While remembering certain things can be traumatic. The ability to remember is a wonderful gift God has given us. In a flash we can be a child again, skipping rocks across a pond, or walking in a meadow. Through memory we can fall in love, get married, & enjoy our children all over again. All this is possible through the blessing of memory.
Memorial day began as Decoration DAY. A day set aside to place flowers on the civil war dead. In scripture we find that God has given us some things to remember.
After God destroyed the earth in a flood, He told Noah, “I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be cut off by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.” (Genesis 9:11)
Then God stated, “I have set my rainbow in the clouds, & it will be the sign of the covenant between me & the earth.” (Genesis 9:13) So every time we see a rainbow, it serves as a reminder of God’s promise.
Another memorial was erected when Joshua led the people of Israel across the Jordan River. Remember, the water stopped flowing just as the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant stepped into the water at the river’s edge. Then they stood in the middle of the river until the people had crossed safely into the Promised Land.
While they were crossing, Joshua told 12 men, one from each of the 12 tribes, to go into the middle of the riverbed & select 12 large stones. They brought those stones up onto the riverbank & made a monument out of them there.
In Joshua 4:6-7 Joshua tells them, “In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord.
“When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.”
There are special days & times in the Bible designed to help us remember specific events. I want to call your attention to 2 of them this morning. You know the stories behind each one, but listen again & see how God uses them to jog our memories & help us remember important things.
I. THE FEAST OF PASSOVER
A. The first one is the Feast of Passover. You know the history behind it - that the people of Israel had been sojourners & then slaves in Egypt for over 400 years. Then God called Moses & said, “Moses, I want you to go back to Egypt & say to Pharaoh, ‘Let my people go!’”
Moses did as God commanded, but Pharaoh refused to listen. So, to reinforce His demand, God sent plague after plague upon Egypt. And every time, when the plague was at its worst, Pharaoh would say, “Stop the plague & I’ll let the people go.” But after every plague Pharaoh would renege on his promise & continue their slavery.
Finally, Moses tells the Egyptian officials, “This is what the Lord says, ‘About midnight I will go throughout Egypt. Every firstborn son in Egypt will die… There will be loud wailing throughout Egypt – worse than there has ever been or ever will be again.’” (Exodus 11:4-6)
B. Then God gave instructions to the Israelites, “Each family is to choose a year-old lamb, one without spot or blemish, the best in all the flock.”
You know, one of the things we have forgotten today is that we’re supposed to offer our best to God. Instead, we tend to keep the best for ourselves, & God gets the leftovers. But the Biblical principle has always been the same: God deserves our best. And if we love Him, then we will give Him our best.
God told them, “Kill that lamb, & drain its blood into a basin. Then roast the lamb. But before you eat, “Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin & put some of the blood on the top & on both sides of the doorframe.” (Exodus 12:22)
“On that same night I will pass through Egypt & strike down every firstborn – both men & animals – and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord.
“The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; & when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.” (Exodus 12:12-13)