On a little church in Germany stands a stone lamb which has an interesting history. Several years ago when some workmen were building the roof, one fell to the ground. His fellow workers quickly scrambled to the site of the fall expecting him to have been killed. But, to their amazement, he was unhurt. A lamb grazing below, had broken his fall, but was crushed in the process. The worker was so grateful, that he made an image of the lamb in stone and placed it on the building as a memorial to the crushed lamb.
Memorial Day is a time to remember, and many will, by visiting the gravesides of loved ones and placing expressions of love there as they reflect upon good times in days past. The Lord’s Table, which most of our churches observe on a monthly basis, is also a memorial, a memorial to another “Crushed Lamb” who gave His life, not for one, but for many (Matt. 26:26-28). Praise God for the Lamb! As those who lead our congregations to the Memorial Table on a regular basis we must be careful not to become nonchalant, customary, commonplace or routine. It is holy ground! When I stand at the grave side of my parents, it is like no other ground, it is a special place! It is a place or remembrance. And so is the Lord’s Table. What, then, is it that we should be remembering when we approach the Lord’s Table? May I suggest a few things for your consideration:
It is a remembrance of Christ’s death – I Cor. 11:24-26.
It is a recognition of ownership – I Cor. 6:19-20.
It is a restoration of Fellowship or renewal of dedication – I Cor. 11:28-31.
It is a reminder of His return – I Cor. 11:16.
When we stand before the gravesides of our loved ones, we are assured that, in this life, we will not see them again. They will be “laid to rest” until that last day of judgment. Not so with the “Crushed Lamb.” He has promised us that He will return, and Scripture reminds us of several things that we, as believers, must be doing in light of this great truth (do note the mention of Christ’s return in each of the references):
We should be faithful in church – Hebrews 10:25
We should be faithful in purifying ourselves – I John 3:1-3.
We should be faithful in comforting one another – I Thess. 4:18.
We should be faithful in abiding in Him – I John 2:28.
We should be faithful in patience – James 5:7-8.
We should be faithful in watching for Him – I Thess. 5:4-6
Yes, Memorials are good! They help us to remember the important things in life. The Lord’s Table is a memorial to a “Crushed Lamb.” We read about Him throughout the Scriptures. There was Abel’s lamb, one lamb for one man (Gen. 4:1-4); there was the Passover Lamb, one lamb for one household (Exodus 12); there was the Day of Atonement’s Lamb, a lamb for one nation; and there was Calvary’s Lamb, one Lamb sufficient for all people who will humbly meet Him on His ground (Isa. 53; Jn 3:36). Because of Calvary’s Lamb, I just can’t tell you how anxious I am to see Heaven’s Lamb! I believe you will find 31 references to Calvary’s Lamb in the New Testament, and 27 references in the book of Revelation to Heaven’s Lamb. Search them out for yourself sometime. There, in heaven, the Lamb:
Will be worthy and praised throughout eternity – 5:6,13.
Will hold the Book of Life bearing the names of the redeemed – 13:8; 21:27.
Will be the Overcomer – 17:14.
Will be the focus of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb – 19:7-9.
Will replace the temple, the tabernacle, the church – 21:22.
Will be the only Light replacing the sun, moon & stars – 21:23.
Will receive His rightful place along side the Father – 22:1,3.
Had I fallen off the roof of that little church in Germany, and my life had been spared by a grazing lamb, I think I would have built a monument to him too. Building a monument was the only way that this grateful worker could say “thank you” to that little crushed lamb that had died in his place. I am sure that he heralded near and far the story of the lamb that had saved his life. It is important for us, proclaimers of the cross, that when we come to the Lord’s Table, a standing memorial to the Crushed Lamb, we exhort our people that they, too, are heralding the story of the Lamb that has saved us from the penalty of sin. The word “show” in I Cor. 11 :26 means to tell, proclaim, preach! And that is exactly what we are doing though participation in communion. We are telling the world that there was a Lamb who was crushed for us! Praise God for the Lamb!
Worthy is the Lamb that was slain,
To receive power and riches and wisdom and strength,
Honor and glory and blessing!
Worthy is the Lamb, worthy is the Lamb,
Worthy is the Lamb that was slain!
— Maynard H. Belt