My father passed away in February of 2010. I call it his ultimate graduation. That gives me joy because I now have two fathers in heaven: My human dad, and my Heavenly Father. But what does that have to do with Memorial Day? I'll tell you.
As all true Christians are, I was born twice: The first time into dad's family in 1946, the second time into God's family in 1952. Jesus said in John 3:5-6, "(5) I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. (6) Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life" (NLT). I like the way Jesus used verse six to explain verse five. I was born as a human, and when I was 5 years old, I accepted Jesus into my life and was born/adopted into God's family. And I remember every detail.
Memorials are created to remind us of persons, places, or events. They can be statues, piles of rocks, pictures, gardens, or other creations that represent someone or something. God told the Israelites to construct memorials in various places to be reminders about what God did for them there. Memorials, also, gave the parents opportunities to instruct their children about the dynamic presence and interaction of God throughout their history.
Do you know that every human is a memorial? Since mankind was created in the image of God, we are supposed to remind angels, people, and demons of Who God is, and what He is like.
I'm a memorial of Chaplain Stanford E. Linzey Jr. I was made (born) in his image. I think, talk, laugh, and act like him. I don't defame him, or discredit him. Instead, I honor dad in every way I know how. People who knew dad tell me, "You remind me of your father." Others have said, "You certainly are Stan's son." That is, I remind people of dad. I have some scars on my arms and hands that didn't come from dad; and that would make me a scarred memorial or image. However, the scars are minor and are not noticeable. Therefore, I'm an authentic memorial of my dad.
The Bible tells us in Genesis 1:27 that God created Adam (and through Adam, all humanity) in His image. What does that mean?
Adam was not created in God's image in the physical sense, but mentally and spiritually. God created Adam with intelligence, discernment, speech, love, and all God's other attributes, except for creativity. (Adam was creative, but not in the sense of creating something out of nothing.) Adam walked and talked with God. Adam rationalized and asked questions, and God answered. They had a living, dynamic relationship.
Adam and Eve were created without a sin nature; therefore, they were authentic representations of their Maker -- their sinless, heavenly Father. Since future generations would not have the same walking-talking relationship with God, Adam was to be the primary memorial to remind people of Father God.
But something went wrong.
Eve was tricked into disobeying Adam, and Adam willingly followed her lead; therefore, disobeying his Father. Both humans then set the stage for the rest of human history: they covered up the sin. But when found out, they defamed their Father as they blamed others. They became badly scarred memorials, and this history-changing scar could not be hidden. They could no longer faithfully and accurately represent God.
But this was a double-whammy. Not only were the memorials defaced, the plan for which they were created received a set-back.
When some deranged person defaces a memorial, it takes time and expense to restore it to its original status. But man's damage would take more than all the money humanity could ever create. Because of the nature of the devastation, a blood sacrifice was demanded. Since Adam sinned without a sin nature, only someone without a sin nature could restore man to his original setting and restart God's original plan.
That's why the Word of God came to earth as a man, Jesus, and gave His life to redeem mankind from destruction. Those who repent of their sin and accept Jesus into their lives are born again, are restored to God, become His representatives, and are reinstated into God's eternal plan.
You are a memorial of something. Do you represent sin, or do you remind those watching you of our Creator, our heavenly Father, God? The choice is yours.
--S. Eugene Linzey is a teacher, author, and mentor. Send comments and questions to [email protected] Visit his website at www.genelinzey.com. The opinions expressed are those of the author.
Religion on 05/20/2020
Print Headline: You are a memorial