“Take twelve men from the people, from each tribe a man, and command them saying, ‘Take twelve stones from here out of the midst of the Jordan, from the very place where the priests’ feet stood firmly, and bring them over with you and lay them down in the place where you lodge tonight.’ … When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’ Then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord.’” ~ Joshua 4:2-3, 6-7
As Israel crossed the Jordan, Joshua commanded them to take twelve stones from the river bed and set them up as a memorial to remind them, their children, and their children’s children of the work of the Lord in providing them the Promised Land.
God also provides memorials in our lives as followers of Jesus to remind us of what he has done in saving us from our sins to take us into the Promised Land of eternity. Two, in particular, stand out: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper / Communion.
Baptism is a ritual we undertake at the start of our Christian life. In Matthew 28, Jesus says that all of his disciples are to be baptized and then taught to obey all that he has commanded. In Romans 6, Paul says that our baptism into water displays our death, burial, and hope of resurrection with Jesus and this display should help us to live God-honoring lives.
The Lord’s Supper, also called Communion, is where followers of Jesus share bread and a cup of juice or wine that represent the body of Jesus broken and the blood of Jesus shed on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins. In Luke 22, Jesus says that we partake of each in remembrance of him.
Baptism is our initiation into life as a disciple of Jesus, and an act we let remind us of our new life through faith in Jesus. The Lord’s Supper is an ongoing ritual we partaken in often to keep our minds focused on the sacrifice of Jesus in forgiving our sins and bringing us new life. These two activities serve as our own “memorial stones” to keep us focused and remind us that God indeed keeps his promises to us.
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