FIVE GREAT MEMORIALS TO CHRIST
TEXT: Exodus 12:14
Introduction: Every society has erected or established memorials to honor various people or events which are important to it. It might be a structure: Washington Monument; Jefferson Memorial; Lincoln Memorial.
Or it might be a special day of celebration--Memorial Day, Independence Day, Veterans Day. In the Old Testament, God also established certain memorials to help the Israelites remember certain things. Read TEXT.
Just as our nation has established several memorials to commemorate its history, and God gave the Israelites the memorial of the Passover to celebrate their deliverance from Egyptian bondage, so the New Testament establishes…
I. The empty tomb
A. When Jesus died, He was buried in a tomb: Matt. 27:57-61
B. But, unlike most other people, His body didn’t remain there: Lk. 24:1-8
C. Peter pointed to the empty tomb as evidence of the resurrection: Acts 2:22-24, 29-32; Grant’s Tomb in New York City, NY. The fact that Jesus’ body is not in His tomb is a memorial to His resurrection and thus to His deity: Rom. 1:3-4
II. The Lord’s day
A. We know precisely on what day of the week Jesus arose: Mk. 16:9
B. Obviously, this day became important to the early Christians: Acts 20:7, 1 Cor. 16:2
C. The universal testimony of the post-apostolic church fathers is that this day was known as “the Lord’s day”: Rev. 1:10
III. The Lord’s supper
A. Jesus instituted the Lord’s supper as a memorial by which we remember Him: Lk. 22:19-20
B. The early church regularly participated in this memorial: Acts 2:42 (cf. 20:7)
C. And the apostle Paul taught that all Christians should do likewise: 1 Cor. 11:23-26
A. Jesus commanded baptism: Matt. 28:18-20, Mk. 16:15-16
B. Baptism was preached and practiced throughout the first century: Acts 2:38, 8:12, 10:47-48, etc.
C. How is baptism a memorial?: Rom. 6:3-4
V. The church
A. Jesus promised to build His church: Matt. 16:18
B. This He did on the day of Pentecost: Acts 2:41, 47
C. The existence of the church is a memorial to Christ because it is His spiritual body: Eph. 1:22-23—note Acts 20:28;
John Ellerton (1826-1893), 1870
We thank Thee that Thy church, unsleeping, While earth rolls onward into light,
Through all the world her watch is keeping, And rests not now by day or night.
As o’er each continent and island The dawn leads on another day,
The voice of prayer is never silent, Nor dies the strain of praise away.
The sun that bids us rest is waking Our brethren ’neath the western sky,
And hour by hour fresh lips are making Thy wondrous doings heard on high.
Conclusion: People don’t raise memorials to non-existent individuals or fictitious events.
These memorials give silent testimony to the fact that Jesus lived on earth, died on the cross for our sins, arose from the grave, established His church, and offers salvation to all mankind.
Of course the gospel itself is a memorial to Christ: 1 Cor. 15:1-4. Have you believed and obeyed it?
By Wayne S. Walker
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