Memorial Day

Monday is Memorial Day. We are to be thankful to those who have served in the military, who have died. Some died in service while some have died since serving. My father and father-in-law both served during World War 2. I have an uncle who served during Korea. Several of you have served in Viet Nam. We have statues that are scattered throughout our country that honors those who have served. This article will be about memorials.

In Exodus 12 God set up a memorial for the children of Israel. It is called the Passover. It was a time of great anticipation. They were about to leave the land of Egypt, a type of suffering and sin. God gave the command that they were to take a lamb of the first year, without spot. Then, they were to take this animal and slaughter him. The blood was to be applied to the door post and across the top of the door. It was to be applied with a hyssop branch. This was also to be a teaching time. The adults were to teach their children what God had done for them. The other plagues were surly to be taught leading up to this event. The children of Israel were to borrow from the Egyptians clothes, gold, silver, and precious stones. They were to “spoil” the Egyptians. In studying the plagues we do find that land of Egypt was devastated. It was wiped out, now, the children of Israel were to do the same with their “things.” When they children of Israel were told to leave Egypt, Egypt was pretty much a desolated place. This was God’s way of taking care of the children of Israel. The memory of this event was to take place every year at the same time; first month, fourteenth day of the month.

Interesting, the second time they partook of the Passover, was a year later, but it was different. All of the above events had taken place, so this feast was to be done in memory of what had already been done. In studying this event we find that there were some who were unclean because of a dead body, yet, they wanted to partake of this feast. God gave them a law concerning someone who met certain criteria who could partake of it the other time. They could not just miss it because they did not feel like missing it. There were certain reasons and only those reasons could they partake of it at the second time. One wonders if any one of the children of Israel missed the first time? What reason would they give? The time had been announced. The place had been announced. Preparations were to be made, so why miss this most important event?

Let us fast forward several centuries. Christ is coming to the end of His ministry and His life. It is the last Passover feast of His life. He institutes another memorial feast that is to last till He comes again. Luke records that we are to partake of the supper, “in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19). Paul records this event and this statement is made after the unleaven bread and the cup 1 Corinthians 11:24, 25. Paul also states that we are to teaching during this time, “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do she the Lord’s death till he come” (1 Corinthians 11:26). There are several similarities between the Passover and the Lord’s Supper.

Both of these events were a memorial events. The Passover was to remind them of what took place for the children of Israel to leave Egypt. We are to remember the death, the why of this death, for you and me so that our sins could be forgiven and we stand pure, sanctified, justified before God. We are to remember the suffering that was endured because of our sins. Christ became a sin offering to God for our sins. We need to remember what Christ has done for us.

Both of these events had a time to be taken. The Feast of Passover was to be partake and participated in every year on the fourteenth day of the month. The Lord’s Supper is to be partaken upon the first day of the week. We should not have to say every week. “Remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy” (Exodus 20:9). They were not told every Sabbath had to be kept. Every week had a Sabbath so they were to keep it. The Christians of the first century met every first day of the week. We also find that the disciples were meeting upon the first day of the week to worship Acts 2 and Acts 20.

Why would one want to miss such an important event? The Lord did recognize some reasons why some could not partake of the Passover so provisions were made to partake of it again. There are some reasons why some cannot partake of the Lord’s Supper  when the saints meet to worship God. We need to make sure that they are reasons God will accept and not what we think God will accept.

Let us always remember the Lord’s death till He comes.

Love, Keith

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