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“They make monuments by master craftsmen that will last throughout eternity.”
I stumbled at that for two reasons. One, it’s an awkward sentence. The English teacher in me says that the phrase, “that will last throughout eternity,” modifies “master craftsmen.”
If the commercial is to be understood that way, the sentence is true. Master craftsmen — like all people — will indeed last throughout eternity. Some in eternal bliss; some in eternal woe.
But the commercial wasn’t advertising the longevity of the craftsmen; it was stressing the durability of their product.
That brings me to my second problem: a gravestone that will last throughout eternity? To that I must ask: (1) How do they know? (2) What difference does it make? I for one don’t intend to be in any cemetery forever!
Within all people, though, is that desire for some kind of eternal life — even if it is only a monument by which to be remembered by someone. What a tragedy to be forgotten!
I certainly have no quarrel with the idea of gravestones. I have even wandered through old cemeteries and have been fascinated by the weathered inscriptions on the markers.
This Memorial Day, thousands upon thousands of people will show their respect for the memories of loved ones who have died. Cemeteries will blossom with spring flowers. But they too will fade. Even the plastic ones.
So how can a person be remembered?
Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper before He died. He told us to observe it in remembrance of Him (Luke 22:19). Every time we take Communion, we are reminded of His death for our sins, His resurrection, and His return. Communion is — and should be — a meaningful memorial service.
But death couldn’t hold Jesus. He arose. He gave His promise of eternal life to all who would believe in Him.
“And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:11,12).
No monument of humans will make it through eternity. But a life lived in obedience to God's will. Isn’t that the kind of a monument you want?
This article originally appeared in the Pentecostal Evangel.