They are everywhere. In Washington, DC, one will find a number of monuments to great leaders of our country’s past. The Washington, Lincoln and Jefferson Monuments, are probably the most famous. Across the Potomac River from Washington, one will find Arlington National Cemetery. Every tombstone in that sacred place is a monument to one of our honored dead. One of the most moving monuments in that place is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. And in cemeteries all around the world, one will find monuments to departed loved ones.
Monuments serve at least two purposes. First, they stand as proof. A monument on a grave is proof that such a person actually lived, died, and their remains are in the grave. Secondly, monuments serve as reminders. We might have a tendency to forget some great men and women of the past if it weren’t for some memorial in their honor. The same principle is true with reference to the monuments of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. These monuments stand as proof of this great miracle and as reminders that it really did take place.
First, there is the monument of the Lord’s Day itself. Jesus was raised from the dead on the first day of the week according to Matthew 28 and Luke 24. That day is special to all who believe in the Lord’s resurrection. Before the day of Pentecost described in Acts 2, the Bible reveals that God required the Jews to worship Him in a formal manner on the Sabbath, or seventh day of the week (Saturday). However, since Pentecost, the Bible consistently shows that God expects His children to worship Him in a formal manner on the first day of the week. That day is referred to as the Lord’s day. It is indeed a special day. It is a day to remember the resurrection of Jesus from the grave.
Secondly, not only was the Lord raised that day, but the Lord’s Supper (another monument / memorial to remind us of Christ’s death) was observed on that day according to Acts 20:7. You will remember that the night before His crucifixion, Jesus told them to eat the unleavened bread and drink the fruit of the vine as a reminder of the suffering He was about to endure. His declaration was, “This do in remembrance of Me”. The Lord’s Supper stands as a monument to the crucified and resurrected Lord, and is to continue until His return to take His people home.
Thirdly, baptism is a monument of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. Romans 6:4 declares, “Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Thus, as Jesus died on the cross, was buried, and was raised, we die to sin, are buried in baptism, and are raised to walk in a new life with God. Our baptism stands as a monument to our Savior’s resurrection. And it looks forward to the time of our own resurrection from the grave.
Have you been baptized into Christ? Do you worship Him on the Lord’s day, and partake of His Supper to commemorate His death?
(Adapted and expanded from an article by Tom Sutherland)