The Memorial

 •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 5
Lawrence Hammond—Boyce Lawson—James McAndrew... the names glint in the Washington sunshine, names etched in the polished black granite of the Vietnam memorial, names of those who died. Their living loved ones come to stand and search for that one special name, to reach up to touch this one last tie, to whisper: "We remember—we will never forget—we love you."
Long after the last mourner has gone, when there is no one left able to say, "I knew him, I cared for him," the names will still be there: Nathaniel Lee—Marvin Lindsey—Dennis Pitsenbarger... it will be a voice ever saying: they lived, and they are dead.
Yes, every name on those stones is a memorial to death. Paul McNaly—Gary Tracy—Frank Wilson... they are remembered, they were loved, but those reaching hands, those longing hearts, can never really touch them. It is a roster of the dead.
There is another place where names are written: names that will endure for all eternity. It is spoken of in the Bible, in Rev. 21:2727And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life. (Revelation 21:27), where we read of those people whose names are written in "the Lamb's book of life."
These are names that will last forever, names of the living: Jennifer—Steve—Carole—Bryan...! Is your name written there?
Jesus said: "He that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die." John 11:22(It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.) (John 11:2)S,26.
The names etched in granite are not there by choice. To die in the mud and blood and suffering of war was a terrible thing.
Far, far worse will it be to die without making sure that your name is written in the book of life. That choice is yours!
After the "dead, small and great, stand before God," whosoever is not found written in that book will be "cast into the lake of fire." That means eternal separation from God in blackness of darkness forever, in a state too horrible to contemplate.
Again, you do have choice! By believing in the Lord Jesus. Christ, by receiving Him as your own Savior, by confessing Him as Lord, you will insure that your name is in that book.
Rejoice! Isn't that wonderful?
"It is Finished"
"It is finished." These three wonderful words contain the essence of the gospel. No unsaved person can properly understand their meaning. The gospel of the grace of God which tells what Christ has done for sinners—and not what they are to do for Him—when believed, is the power of God unto their salvation.
"It is finished" were the dying words of our truest, best and dearest Friend. The dying words of loved ones are long remembered and are not easily forgotten; when Christ uttered this triumphant cry He was in the act of giving up His soul as an offering for sin.
What was finished? His life of shame, of suffering and sorrow was ended. He had been "despised and rejected of men." Many a time He had been faint, weary, hungry and thirsty! That is all over. "For your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich."
The Lord Jesus appeared to "put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself." Heb. 9:2626For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. (Hebrews 9:26). When He died at Calvary a full and perfect atonement for sin was accomplished. Christ "poured out His soul unto death." He "bare our sins in His own body on the tree." The ransom has been paid. The penalty has been met. Peace has been made. The law's demands have been fully met. God is fully satisfied with Christ's finished work, and He desires that we should be satisfied with that which satisfies Him.
"Christ did His part and left us to do ours," say some. In what part of Scripture is it stated that Christ did "His part" of the work of atonement? It was on account of our sins that He suffered and bled and died. If, then, God is eternally satisfied with what Christ did for you, what is left unfinished for you to do?
Don't insult God by bringing your prayers, works, vows, tears, good resolutions or happy feelings to supplement the work of His beloved Son. Can you add to a "finished" work? Salvation has been purchased at an infinite cost; and is now offered to you as a free gift.
"Then said they to Him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent." John 6:28, 2928Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? 29Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. (John 6:28‑29).