The Memorial Celebration

Here is a script of a Memorial service that you can use for your Congregation or little group or even just yourself.

Here is the text of the service and the timing for singing and passing out the emblems of the bread and cup:

We are gathered together as a family of Christ’s body members in thoughtful memory and reflection of Jesus’ life and sacrifice.

BEGIN OPENING HYMN HERE:  i.e. Hymns of Dawn  168  WHAT A SAVIOUR

HAVE AN OPENING PRAYER:

 

Read Theme scripture: (1 Cor. 5:7).  “Christ, our Passover, is sacrificed for us; therefore, let us keep the feast.”

The Passover was Israel’s most important and solemn annual event.   We recognize the antitype as “Christ our Passover Lamb slain for us”–“the Lamb of God.”    As the typical lamb was put to death on the fourteenth day of the first month, so Jesus, our Passover Lamb was put to death on the same day.  (Luke 22:7-8 NKJV)

 

TYPICAL JEWISH PASSOVER

In the Passover type, Israel feasted on the typical lamb.  In reality, we feast on our antitypical Lamb, Jesus Christ.  At Passover, Jesus gave to His disciples the symbols of His broken body and shed blood, saying: “THIS do in remembrance of me” hereafter, thinking of me as your Lamb.

Egypt pictured the world.  Each house of Israel, represented the household of faith, and each lamb, represented the Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world, and the first-born in each family, represented the Christ, Head and Body, the New Creation or as Hebrews 11:23 says, “the Church of the First-born.”

The bitter herbs represented the trials and afflictions of this present time, which all the more serve to whet the appetite of the household of faith for the Lamb and the unleavened bread.

As each household was to eat with staff in hand and girded for a journey, it represented that the antitypical first-born and the household of faith WHO would thus partake of the Lamb during the night time of this Gospel age would be pilgrims and strangers in the world.  They would realize the bondage of sin and death and want to be led by the Lord into freedom from sin and corruption–into the liberty of the sons of God.

Just as the first-born were protected from the lamb’s blood, sprinkled on the door posts, so Jesus Ransom sacrifice delivers us from death.  Rom 5:9 says, “having now been justified by His blood” – NKJV

Yet that blood serves the dual purpose of sanctification, making us holy, “having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience” (Heb 10:22).

As 1 Peter 1:2 (Weymouth) says, “…through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, with a view to their obedience and to their being sprinkled with the blood of Jesus Christ.”

1 Cor 10:16 says, “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not, a sharing together of the blood of the Christ?  The loaf which we break, is it not, a sharing together of the body of the Christ?”   The consecrated have this common sharing and participation jointly in His body and His sacrifice.  So tonight, only the consecrated members of Christ’s body should partake of the emblems.  If anyone has dedicated their life to God but has not had a chance to be baptized yet, they should participate as well.  Yet we welcome the household of faith to observe, meditate, appreciate and given thanks for Jesus sacrifice with us.

 

JESUS PRE-HUMAN EXISTENCE

The sacrifice of Jesus to rescue the world from sin and death was planned for long before the creation of man.  Jesus was “the lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”  Rev 13:8

Proverbs 8:30 tells us of Jesus prehuman existence saying, “Then I was beside Him, as a master craftsman; And I was daily His delight, Rejoicing always before Him.”

In John 17:15 Jesus prayed, “Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.” NASV

Hebrews 10:5-7 (NKJV) “ Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me … `Behold, I have come… To do Your will, O God.’”

So Jesus risked everything.  He left behind His joy, safety, and glory in heaven to suffer and die and thereby become the Savior of mankind.

 

HOPE FOR MANKIND

In the meantime, as Rom 8:22 says “… the whole world groans and travails in pain waiting…” and verse 21 tells us that “the creation itself shall be delivered.”

The first hope of mankind being delivered by the seed of blessing was given to mother Eve, promising that her seed would bruise the serpent’s head.  (Gen 3:15)

A clear promise was given to Abraham that through his seed all the families of the earth will be blessed.  (Gen 12:3; 28:14)

The Apostle Paul speaks of this promise to Abraham in Hebrews 6 and says that we have this hope of that Abrahamic promise, which takes us through the veil, following our forerunner, Jesus, the High Priest.  (Heb 6:13-20)

 

JESUS COMES INTO THE WORLD

Prior to Jesus’ birth, the angel Gabriel said to Mary that she would give birth to Jesus, the Son of the Most High.  He would reign over Israel on David’s throne and his kingdom would never end. (Luke 1:31-33)

Angels later appeared to the Shepherds and they came to see the baby Savior.

“Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.”  (Luke 2:19 NASV)

She could not know of the sorrow she would later endure seeing her son accomplish His great mission of saving the world.  Yet in the end, Mary would be comforted and encouraged by Jesus resurrection.

At age 12, Jesus’ parents [Luke 2: 46, 47 (NASV)] “found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions.   And all who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers.”  In Luke 2:49 (Amplified) Jesus explained to his parents, “Did you not see {and} know that it is necessary as a duty for Me to be in My Father’s house {and} occupied about My Father’s business? “

At this young age, it seems that Jesus was either aware of, or else learning of, his mission.

At age 30, his mission begins when baptized at Jordon.  John the Baptist saw the Holy Spirit descend on Jesus like a dove and he declared (in John 1:29) “behold the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”  Soon after, Jesus selects his twelve disciples.  He loves and cherishes them, even in their failings.

 

MIRACLES

Jesus healed the deaf and the crippled.  He restored sight to the blind.  He cast out evil demons and performed many other miracles, many of which were performed on the Sabbath day.  This foreshadowed the great healing of mankind which would take place during this great antitypical 7th thousand year Millennial day.

Perhaps Jesus’ most memorable miracle was when He arrived at Bethany after Lazarus had been dead for four days and lay in a tomb.  Many Jews were comforting the family.  Martha went to meet Jesus and said, “ Lord if You had been here, my brother would not have died.”  Jesus replied, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.”  (John 11:21, 25)

A little later, Mary came and fell down at Jesus’ feet, also saying to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” (John 11:32)   When Jesus saw her weeping and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled.  Jesus wept.  Moments later, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” and he did.

Many Jews believed in Jesus as a result.  But the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered a council and plotted to put Him to death.  (John 11:48)

 

TEACHINGS

Jesus teachings were remarkable.

BREAD

John 6:51: “I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.”

The Lord’s unblemished flesh, as a corresponding price for Adam’s condemned flesh, constituted the purchase price by which were redeemed father Adam and the entire human race in his loins.  Hence we now receive life or justification from Jesus’ ransom sacrifice, in advance of the world of mankind receiving it in the Kingdom.

HUMILITY

Jesus taught the critical importance of humility, without which the New Creature cannot grow.

Matt 18 (NKJV) “1  … the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”  2  Then Jesus called a little child to Him… 3  and said,  “… unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.  4  “Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

JUDGING OURSELVES

Jesus taught the importance of judging ourselves, not others.

In Matt 7 (NKJV) 1  “Judge not, that you be not judged.  2 “For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged…  5  “… First, remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

How easy it is to see the failings in our brethren – real or imagined.  How difficult it is to focus on our own failings and to correct them.

FORGIVENESS

Forgiveness is so important, that it is part of the Lord’s Prayer.

Luke 11:4 (Amplified) “And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us who has offended us or done us wrong.”

Let us never turn a blind eye by justifying our refusal to forgive others.

(1 John 3:14, 16 )(NKJV) “14 We know that we have passed out of death into life because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death…  16 We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”

We had no choice in who our natural brothers or sisters were.  Nor do we have a choice in the matter with our spiritual brethren.  It is the Lord’s choice.

At this time of our Lord’s memorial, any bitterness, anger or resentment must be purged out of our hearts.  As 1 Cor 5:7 says, “purge out the old leaven.”  We are all a work in progress and we must be patient with others if we want the Lord to be patient with us.  Jesus knew in advance that Peter would betray Him, yet He forgave him before the act.  If we cannot purge these evil feelings from our heart, it would be too dangerous for God to entrust us with the infinite power of the Divine Nature and to be an intimate part of His divine family.

Matt 6:14 (NKJV)  “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.”

We can more easily forgive when we stay focused on the task of being a nourishing part of Christ’s body.

Eph 4:16 (NASV) “the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supply, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.”  (see also Rom 12:5)

We are directed to “forsake NOT the assembling of ourselves together” (Heb 10:25).  Many of us in times of weakness have been tempted to distance ourselves from our brethren.  Let us trust God’s Word in this matter.  Let us eat humble pie if you must.  Do not let human weakness and feelings overwhelm the sacrificing, loving, contributing and forgiving influences of the Holy Spirit.

 

JESUS FINAL HOURS

Let us now consider Jesus’ final days and hours.  First, remember…

Matt 16:21 (NASV) says, “… Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day.”  There was no question in Jesus’ mind that he would have to suffer and die.  Any alternate course would not fulfill the prophecies and His mission would fail.

Jesus determined to go to Jerusalem, knowing the agony and death that awaited him.

In fear, His disciples resisted at first, but seeing Jesus’ determination, they submitted to their master.  Thomas said, “Let us go and die with Him.”  John 11:7,8, 16

Phil. 2:8: says, “And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming OBEDIENT TO THE POINT OF DEATH, EVEN DEATH ON A CROSS.” – NASV

In every moment of Jesus last few hours on earth, he was intent on being totally faithful to the fathers’ will.  So much so that he was carefully endeavoring to accurately fulfill scriptures concerning Him, even in the face of pain, torture, and humiliation.

When troops sent by the religious rulers came to arrest Jesus, He reassured His disciples saying, “Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?  But HOW THEN WOULD THE SCRIPTURES BE FULFILLED THAT SAY IT MUST HAPPEN IN THIS WAY?” – NIV (Matt. 26:53, 54)

So then, Jesus willingly allowed the troops to take Him to Caiaphas and the certain suffering to follow, all so that THE SCRIPTURES WOULD BE FULFILLED.

Isaiah 53:7 says, “… Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So HE DID NOT OPEN HIS MOUTH.” – NASV

As Jesus stood silently before the High Priest and Elders, so much conflicting testimony was given against him that they could not find a way to condemn him to death.

Then “…  the high priest said to Him, “I adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God.”  JESUS SAID TO HIM, “YOU HAVE SAID IT YOURSELF; NEVERTHELESS, I TELL YOU, HEREAFTER YOU SHALL SEE THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, AND COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN” – NASV (Matt 26:63-64)

In one sentence, Jesus said just enough so that they could accuse him of blasphemy and condemn him to death.  He obediently helped to direct events which would lead to his death on the cross.

While in agony on the cross, Jesus said, “I am thirsty,” so that the scripture in Psalms 69:21 might be fulfilled, which says, “For my thirst, they gave me vinegar to drink.” -NASV

From the cross, Jesus looked down at John and his grieving mother.   Through the unbearable pain, Jesus in His love and compassion sought in part to ease their loss.  He said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!”  Then He said to John, “Behold, your mother!” From that hour John took her into his own household.  (John 19:26, 27)

(In Matt. 27:46,) Jesus said, “MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME?”  He quoted from the opening verse of Psalm 22, the Psalm which describes His death on the cross so that He could strengthen the faith of his disciples, when they would later realize that this Psalm applied to Him.

God promises us that He would never leave or forsake us (Heb 13:5, Deut 31:6).  Throughout Jesus life, the Father protected Him from danger.  Yet in His final hours, the Father would have to forsake Him, allowing Him to suffer and die.  Yet soon God would raise His Son from death to glory and power at His right hand.

Earlier in the Garden of Gethsemane, with great crying and tears, Jesus prayed to Him who could deliver Him out of death (Heb 5:7).  Jesus’ fear was that if He had failed in any regard, that He would not be raised from the dead and that His mission to save the world would have failed.

Luke 22:43 (NAS) “ Now an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him.”

Perhaps the angel reassured Him that he had been totally faithful up until that point.  This would then give Jesus this added strength to press on and finish the task.

When Jesus prayed that this cup pass from him, he was not praying to escape out of suffering, but rather for success in his sacrificing mission.  He prayed that he would faithfully drink of the cup and that He could “pass” on that same opportunity to his body members.

It is inspiring and amazing that our Savior, in such pain and agony stayed focused on His mission every step of the way.

 

THE DISCIPLES PREPARE PASSOVER

Earlier, as Passover neared, Jesus reminded his disciples that he would be crucified.

In Bethany, Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair.    Jesus said, “She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial.” (Mark 14:8)

Later, Jesus “sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat.” (Luke 22:8)  Per Jesus’ instructions, they entered the city, then followed a man who provided them with a furnished upper room where they made preparations.

At the meal, Jesus warned that one of them would betray him, and his disciples were puzzled, wondering who he was talking about.  But the conversation soon shifted to whom among them would be greatest in the kingdom of heaven.   Jesus then taught them “the one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest and the leader like the servant” (Luke 22:26).  Later that night, after supper, Jesus would wash his disciple’s feet, then say to them, “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet” (John 13:14).

Jesus promised, “But you are those who have continued with Me in My trials.  “And I covenant unto you a kingdom, just as My Father covenanted to Me, that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” (Luke 22:28-30).

Yet Jesus warned that Peter would betray Him.  Peter assured Jesus that he was willing to go to prison and die for Jesus.  No doubt, Peter was as sincere, as are we.  Yet because of our human failings, we need Jesus by our side to give us strength in unexpected moments of weakness.

 

MEMORIAL EMBLEMS

So tonight we are gathered to pay tribute to the greatest human life ever lived, to give honor to the life giver of the human race, the Son of God, Jesus Christ.

We understand the work of atonement accomplished through the Ransom and Sin-Offering, and through these memorial symbols, we honor those precious doctrines.

Matt 26:26 (NKJV)  And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.”

 

As Jesus asked a blessing on the bread before serving it to his disciples, so we will ask Brother or Sister XXXXX  to ask a similar blessing on the bread in consideration of what it pictures.

PRAYER FOR THE BREAD:

SERVING THE BREAD

[After the prayer, walk over to the table and break one of the crackers.

Platter of crackers served to brothers.  The deacon serves elders.]

Ask:  “Has anyone not been served that desires to partake?”

SERVING THE CUP

Matt 26:27-28 (NKJV) “Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you.  “For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”

As Jesus gave thanks for the cup before serving it to his disciples, so Brother or Sister XXXX will pray a similar blessing on the cup in consideration of what it pictures.

PRAYER FOR THE CUP:

[Platter of grape juice distributed. ]

Ask:  Has anyone not been served that desires to partake?

The account says that when they sang a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.  As Jesus memorial ended with a hymn and without prayer, so we will do the same.

After the hymn, we encourage you to figuratively go to the Mount of Olives with our Lord, Jesus and continue your devotional meditations of Jesus final experiences in his remaining hours on earth, finally remembering His glorious resurrection on the third day.

CLOSING HYMN OF YOUR CHOICE: for example Hymns of Dawn:  326  WHEN I VIEW THE CROSS

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9 Responses to The Memorial Celebration

  1. jacqueline says:

    Ted you know I was wondering if this journey of road we are allowed to travel might have been allowed to let the Bible Student brothers see how people outside see them. We are friendly observers willing to conform at great cost. But such worship of a man would perhaps not be looked at by God favorably, as He knows we know better than to worship men.
    Hopefully we all benefit as more BS are starting their own small groups and changing their whole view on Revelation as our vistor from them expressed on Thursday.
    His visit was a boost and blessing.
    Hopefully going over to call in and video and chat will help more people get on.

  2. jacqueline says:

    Ted, the Chicago class does not talk before and afterward they don’t associate but get up and go straight to their cars. When I found out it was a ritual like that I never attended their Memorial. Indiana is not quite as conservative, in fact it is nice, we even have dinner before and visit outside but walk out without socializing inside.
    I started attending in Indiana and found out later when I got a call they met to discuss if I would be welcomed into their class. I felt like a fool not knowing you had to be scrutinized.
    I had to vouch hard for Jeff to attend Memorial at first and they called him. But being Catholic he expected this. They saw Henry at conventions so he was accepted. One member always visited my business prior to me knowing he was a Bible Student.
    We care in what is called the Divine Plan BS or “Russellites”. They stick to the worshipful attitude of Russell.
    There is very little cohesion among the BS and they have convinced themselves that the constant in fighting and newness to one another is a good thing.
    It is a Babel of power pushers, one fighting for elder and to have the right thought on scripture.
    They are cohesive in one thing however, that Russell is the 7th angel of Revelation. Most believe he is the faithful slave. That is what binds them.
    Some groups have broken away from utilizing the Studies in the Scriptures. They are called Free Bible Students, like the witnesses are Jehovah witnesses.
    Their calm quiet spirit disappears if you challenge them on Russell or “their long held beliefs”. They come out like lions. They even got together in Chicago and gave a talk against me because a relative of mine on Facebook called an elders wife prejudice. I accepted my nieces observation. They didn’t like that but others within the Chicago class told me at a convention I was among more racist that day than the whole week. Lol. I encounter lots of racial hatred out loud.
    I think God let me have this experienc without telling them off so I could testify that after 8 years with them, I can see why Rutherford separated.
    I can testify that it is Russell’s religious concepts and all of his little groups that are Babel and in error.
    Going to them is out of the frying pan into the skillet or boiling pot of water. They are worse because they are small and try to carry a big stick. The giant watchtower society just step on you and put you out. Same people, just like it’s Founder Russell.
    That is why I try not to use passwords or numbers like 1874 or parousia etc, it keeps you from breaking free using their language.
    Hopefully reporting what we see and have experienced will help ones looking into the Bible Students as a place to find help.
    The only place to go is to Jesus Christ. We can get directly to God in Jesus. No need to follow a man or a governing body.
    Lots of other Christians understand this point and realize All Christians are the Church and trying to be approved to help the world pass the final test during the “little season” after the 1,000 years.
    That is why I report what I saw and felt within both camps.

  3. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    Here in Akron the Bible Student ecclesia is very conservative. I had to be approved by the elders and profess my consecration before even being allowed to attend. They follow Russells instructions to the letter. You are not allowed to associate after the meeting concludes. Is it like that everywhere?

  4. jacqueline says:

    Eyebrows! That is an understatement! I could never bring myself to partake with persons passing the emblems from one to the other without partaking. When I was young I remember my mother and other adults after the meeting going into the “B” room and repeating the service by presenting to each other and partaking.
    A sister I aided to become a witness begged me to come to her Memorial, I wasn’t aware why. She partook and wanted to have support she said to us. I remember asking, why couldn’t you do it at home alone later that night? She created a scene that ruined the charade for everyone and she was the talk instead of what little some could have gotten out of the occasion.
    I was not awakened then and she felt like the witnesses,that partaking showed she was special. When awakened I realized the ceremony was a worship fest of the so called anointed and her actions were just another part of the show.
    Perhaps we can decide on the day, you have a point about some having a conflict because they still attend Memorial with the witnesses.
    Ohio Bible student normally broadcast their service or we can upload a talk . Perhaps between now and then we can discuss at meetings on Thursday or Saturday.

  5. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    I will probably be forced to take my wife to Friday with the JW’s but there is an hours time difference between Ohio and Indiana so I still might be able to make it. It will probably raise some eyebrows when I partake 🙂

  6. jacqueline says:

    Tasha hello, sure you and your children may attend and anyone else. I think everyone on here partakes.
    Really only the Wiccans pass the emblems without taking to show their disdain for Jesus.
    All Christians partake because it is not to show you are of the anointed or slated to be a special Bride of Christ. It is to do it in “Remembrance of Him and what he did for us.”
    On this night He would bring in a New Covenant that would save all mankind and Christians that endure faithfully until the end could go to heaven. This was Brand New!

    Jews never heard of or expected to go to heaven. All the earth expected before this to live on earth even in a resurrection, Jews expected to be raised on earth even as Martha said at John 525-28 when Lazarus was about to be raised. So it is not about the so-called “ANOINTED or Consecrated of one religion.”
    1Cor. 11:23-26:
    ” 23For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: that the Lord Jesus, on the night He was betrayed, took bread, 24and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”…
    25In the same way, after supper He took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” 26For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes”.

  7. Tasha says:

    Also, raised jw, only those with a heavenly calling partake. I am no longer jw. What is the view of those on this site? Should everyone partake? Also, if my children and i observe from home, should i have actual wine and unleavened bread? Thank you

  8. Tasha says:

    Thank you for this. I was actually just wondering about this as I will not be attending one as a JW this year. I would like to participate with my children on this platform if possible.

  9. jacqueline says:

    TedR or anyone here is a brief article on the Memorial and a comment section to discuss the date this platform wants to celebrate the Memorial.
    You stated the dates are Thursday, April 18th as determined by the Bible Students and Friday, April 19th as determined by the Witnesses.
    So this allows brothers to decide which date they prefer.
    I like Friday because most are off work.

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