Making a Memorial for Jesus

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Making a Memorial for Jesus

Several years ago, my family and I visited the Oklahoma City memorial, which stands at the place where 168 lives were lost and countless others affected by senseless violence in April of 1995. Although the official memorial came much later, it didn’t take people long to create memorials of their own. Within hours of the tragedy, people began creating makeshift memorials around the perimeter of the area. They brought flowers, stuffed animals, personal notes and trinkets representing the spirits of those no longer there, a tangible way of mourning and remembering their loved ones.

Eventually, a chain link fence was erected around the site, and people from all around the world would travel there and tuck little mementos into the links of the fence in a show of strength and solidarity. The fence may have started out as a memorial to contain the grief, but soon it turned into a symbol of hope and healing for the people of Oklahoma City and beyond.

Grief and hope are unified in acts of remembrance for those we love.

Establishing memorials is a normal human activity. We establish memorials as a way to remind us of a person or event long after the person is gone or the event is over. They serve as testimonies to all who bear witness that something of great importance happened. While it might seem futile to express our intangible pain with tangible props, we do so because our very nature cries out for purpose and reconciliation in the face of such great sorrow. We are desperate to never forget such sacrificial loss and even more desperate to be united again to our loved ones. We create memorials to remind ourselves: our loss was deep; a life mattered; we are forever changed.

In Luke and 1 Corinthians, we learn about about a similar, intentional act of remembrance by Jesus and his disciples. Jesus, the Savior of all mankind, was a short time away from immense suffering, death and resurrection, and he gave his disciples (and us) a memorial to perform.

Jesus loved the disciples enough to prepare them for their loss.

Just as they all reclined at the table, preparing for the Passover meal (Luke 22:15-16), Jesus said to his disciples, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.” He knew they would experience deep grief and loss, so he prepared them, and gave them a physical action to remember him by.

In 1 Corinthians 11:23-25, it says that Jesus took the bread, gave thanks, broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” His body was beaten and tortured for the sake of our eternal freedom. Jesus took the cup of wine after the meal and said, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” His blood would be shed to create a new covenant between man and God in reconciled relationship. His death would pay the price for our sins, and give us life. He knew these truths, and he knew that we would need help remembering them.

Jesus loved us enough to give us something to remember our hope; a memorial.

The word “memorial” means “something established to remind people of a person or event”. Memorials call us to remembrance, and give our lives place-markers so we don’t forget important events. Anyone who has been to a physical memorial, such as the one my family and I visited in Oklahoma City, knows how powerful they are; memorials reach deep into our hearts and give us much-needed perspective. In the same way, Jesus asks us to break the bread and drink from the cup as a way to recall his sacrifice on our behalf, to remember, reflect and memorialize his great gift to us.

It serves as testimony to all who bear witness that something of great importance happened. Our loss was deep; a life mattered; we are forever changed.

“For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”

Read an earlier post by Tammy here. 

About The Author
Tammy Vanella
Tammy Vanella
Hello, I'm Tammy. I have 20 years experience in ministry, and every year, God continues to grow my gift of mentoring. I love investing in the lives of those who are hurting and in need of comfort, direction and encouragement. For the last six years, I've been walking alongside women as they heal from the wounds of their sexual past, and my husband and I also mentor prisoners who are working on successful re-entry back into society. When not volunteering, I'm also passionate about singing, acting, writing and kayaking, plus loving my dogs, family and peaceful moments with the Lord. I live with my husband, John, in Northern California. We have three children, three grandchildren and four of the canine variety.
33 Comments
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  • Alice Faye Woods
    October 1, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    Amen

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  • Scarlett Hutchinson
    October 1, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    AMEN

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  • Stephen Therey
    October 1, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    amen

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  • Rebecca Perez-Kline
    October 1, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    So very true. amen.

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  • Manuel Bonilla
    October 1, 2013 at 11:46 pm

    amen

    0
  • Eva Wilson
    October 2, 2013 at 12:00 am

    amen

    0
  • Cynthia Boullard
    October 2, 2013 at 2:29 am

    Amen

    0
  • Diane Tryon
    October 2, 2013 at 6:58 am

    AMEN

    0
  • Thelma Lovelace
    October 2, 2013 at 7:32 am

    Amen!

    0
  • Martha Johnson
    October 2, 2013 at 7:57 am

    Praise God Amen!

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  • Joyce Thacker Mitchell
    October 2, 2013 at 10:12 am

    AMEN

    0
  • Linda Dixon
    October 7, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    There are sweet “loves” in this world – – – but there is NO Love like the Love of The Lord Jesus Christ. This is simply what makes me want to know more about Him – and be as near to Him as I can be “in this world” – – – and to greatly look forward to being with Him for Eternity … He said, ” Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms – if it were not so I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me, that where I am you also may be.” he also said, “You know the way to the place where I am going.” John 14: 1-4 – – – – Some people say … Jesus was talking to the deciples when He said that (and He was) – – – but God’s word (Love letter) was not just for the deciples… it was for all peoples down to this very day… and Jesus, Himself prayed for us today BACK WHEN HE WAS WALKING ON THIS EARTH … in John 17: 20 He said ” My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message ” . . . THAT IS TODAY TOO – – – US – He said, ” I go to prepare a place for you (us) that where I am, you may also be “… Oh my Lord, I am so looking forward to seeing and BEING in that place. ” Let not your hearts be troubled” . . . He is – ” The Way, JESUS, the Music of My Soul . . . † Truth, and The Life.” John 14: 6

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  • Tammy Vanella
    October 9, 2013 at 9:19 am

    Amen. Jesus is very present with us today. We don’t just memorialize Him, we enter into relationship with Him. One of the ways we do this is through our time of communion.

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  • Viola Demerac
    November 7, 2013 at 6:04 am

    Awesome picture and beautiful words.

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  • Rafaela Beniquez
    November 7, 2013 at 6:55 am

    Thank you Lord Jesus for making us strong during our times of sorrow. Amen

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  • Miriam Garcia
    November 7, 2013 at 6:59 am

    amen

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  • Linda Rizzo
    November 7, 2013 at 7:12 am

    strong in faith in him, amen

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  • Carmenm Silva
    November 7, 2013 at 8:27 am

    AMEN!

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  • Tobias Mcknight
    November 7, 2013 at 8:48 am

    he is working on me

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  • Laura Murillo
    November 7, 2013 at 9:56 am

    AMEN

    0
  • Carol Berry
    November 7, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    I know He prepared me.

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  • Patty StGermaine
    November 7, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    Amen

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  • Annie Rich Duncan
    November 7, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    AMEN!!!!!

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  • Evelyn Skinner
    November 8, 2013 at 12:07 am

    Yes He did and He is preparing us for what is coming if we believe His Word. Amen

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  • Linda Dixon
    November 9, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    His Wonderful Word. His scripture can speak to us about anything you are ever needing advice on. In the back of the Holy Bible a person can look up the subject your are thinking on – – and it will show you scriptures about what God had to say on it. The Holy Bible is a book – – – BUT it is also like a living being. And that wonderful Being Loves us with an incredible Love. I say a little prayer before I read for the Lord to help me understand what He would have me see – – and then begin. May The Lord help and guide us all

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  • Barbara Woodberry
    November 20, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    Amen

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  • Wilma Henderson Harris
    November 20, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    Amen.!!!

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  • Marcella Pruitt
    November 20, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    Amen !!!!

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  • Arlene York
    November 20, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    Amen

    0
  • Judy Miller
    November 20, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    AMEN

    0
  • Lexington Garrick
    November 20, 2013 at 10:25 pm

    My father’s name…my brother’s name! I love this name. So dear to my heart!

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  • David Newman
    November 21, 2013 at 3:18 am

    In God’s time we will all be rewarded…..AMEN

    0
  • Kathy Conley
    November 21, 2013 at 9:56 am

    Amen

    0

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