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Stones of Remembrance

Good Friday Funeral Services Jewish Stories/Humor

Source: N/A

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-04-04

Scripture: Romans 5:6

Author: Illustration Exchange
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ILLUSTRATION

The following illustration can be used as a great object lesson/participative exercise for Good Friday, Communion, or Easter, or can be adapted for a meaningful added element to a funeral service:

Placing a stone of remembrance at the grave of a deceased loved one is a Jewish tradition handed down from antiquity.

There are many different reasons for placing the stones which have all converged into the modern tradition: Before the time of headstones, stones were mounded on top of the grave to secure the grave, and to mark the site so it could be easily located in the future. The entire community mourning the deceased would help in the process of laying the stones. As people would later visit the grave, they would leave another stone to show that they had been there (the more stones, the more honor, because it showed that many people had been there to memorialize the deceased). The stones were also symbolic of an altar (a place that was sanctified and holy). Later in history, as headstones began to replace the mounds of stones, the tradition continued because the stones were seen as a "lasting" remembrance; a way to bring honor to the deceased (after all, flowers fade and die, but the stones will not!).

APPLICATION

The imagery is beautifully displayed in the tomb of Jesus. Therein was laid the body of a Jewish rabbi sealed in his tomb by a giant stone. But there was no honor, no memorial. Just a disgraced, betrayed and brutalized Jewish teacher--tortured and crucified for no fault of his own. It was OUR sin that lashed his skin, OUR sin which pressed the thorns into his brow, OUR sin which nailed him to the cross, and OUR sin which rolled the stone that sealed him in that cold, dark tomb. And with all that, his stone tomb becomes a picture of the altar upon which he sacrificed his life for the sins of the world. And now, we have the opportunity to contemplate the role each one of us played in the sacrifice of Jesus on our behalf--to really own it--to thank him for his sacrifice--and to bring him the honor due his name. As we approach the tomb, let each one of us bring a stone of remembrance and place it there--along with our own sin--leaving it on the altar of his sacrifice.

*At this point you can invite the congregation forward, single file, to take a stone, write their name on it, and lay it at the foot of the cross or at the base of your Good Friday stage display (we created a garden tomb seen with stone rolled in front of the grave, and laid our stones in front of it). When adapting for a funeral service, you can place the rocks on or beside the casket, either at the church or at graveside. You can also reserve the observance if you later do a headstone committal ceremony.

"For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:6-8).

Amanda Knox Finally Acquitted Once-And-For-All

Good Friday Justification (Positional) Jesus, Savior

Source: “Tearful Amanda Knox says she's glad to have her life back”By Ralph Ellis and Hada Messia, CNN, posted CNN.com, 3/28/15

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-04-02

Scripture: 1 Peter 3:19

Author: Illustration Exchange
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ILLUSTRATION

Amanda Knox, a former American exchange in Italy, convicted of the murder of her then roommate Meredith Kercher in November 2007, has once-and-for-all been exonerated.

It’s been quite a roller coaster ride for Knox and her former Italian boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito (also convicted in the case). Both were sentenced to nearly 30 years in prison, despite ample evidence of their innocence. Knox served four years of her sentence before an appeals court acquitted her, only to have a counter-appeal overturn her acquittal!

Knox’s attorneys took her case all the way to an Italian supreme court. CNN reported that the high court in Italy “made the ruling on Friday (3/27/15), so the case is now closed.”

It took eight years of legal tug-of-war to finally free Ms. Knox to move on with her life. Now that Italy’s highest authority has ruled, Knox and Sollecito have no fear of further charges or litigation.

APPLICATION

It took human courts eight years to acquit a woman of a crime she did not commit. It took the High Court of Heaven only one decisive moment to acquit the guilt of ALL who place their faith and trust in the sacrifice of Christ.

With the bold proclamation, “It is finished,” Jesus Christ once-and-for-all satisfied all charges against those who confess Him as Savior. 

With His resurrection, he opened the door to the hope of eternal life.

Case closed.

“For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison” (1 Peter 3:19-20, NASB).

Three Men On A Cross

Good Friday Repentance Dead (to sin)

Source: Kent Crockett's Devotionals: "A Tale of Three Crosses," published KentCrockett.blogspot.com, April 16, 2014

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-04-22

Scripture: Luke 24:39 ; Luke 24:41

Author: Kent Crockett
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ILLUSTRATION

"The Bible mentions three men dying on crosses," says Kent Crocket, "and they all have a story tell":

Cross #1—a thief DYING IN SIN.“And one of the criminals who hanged there was hurling abuse at Him saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save yourself and us” (Luke 24:39). This thief called out to be saved, but he wasn’t sorry for his sins. He wanted to be saved from punishment for his crimes but his heart had not changed. This man died IN his sins. …

Cross #2—a thief DYING TO SIN. The second thief said, “We are receiving what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong…Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom.” And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise” (Luke 24:41-43). … This thief represents those who see Jesus dying for their sins, have a change of heart and are willing to die to their sinful ways.

Cross #3—a Savior DYING FOR SIN. Jesus went to the cross for one purpose—the die for the sins of the world. Isaiah 53:6 says, “The Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.” Jesus bore our sins in His own body on the cross (1 Peter 2:24). That means salvation from sin is only found in Jesus Christ. Matthew 1:21 says, “He will save His people from their sins.”

Kent Crockett graduated from Texas A&M University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and is the senior pastor of the Church of Living Water in Prattville, Alabama. He is the author of The 911 Handbook, Making Today Count for Eternity, and I Once Was Blind but Now I Squint, and has been published in a number of Christian magazines.

APPLICATION

"Both thieves called out to be saved," he says, "but only one was saved. What was the difference? The first thief wasn’t sincere and had no change of heart. If Jesus had set him free, he would have returned to his life of crime. The second thief wanted to be saved from his sins. If Jesus had set him free, he would have turned from his sinful life and would have followed Him. Which one of these thieves represents you?"

""The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!" (Mark 1:15).

What Would It Feel Like To Carry His Cross

Jesus' Suffering Die To Self Good Friday

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-04-14

Scripture: Luke 14:27

Author: Anne Graham Lotz
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Crowd Control Crisis in Tucson and Jersulem

Palm Sunday Good Friday Disappointment

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-04-07

Scripture: Mark 15:13 ; John 12:13

Author: Associated Press / Illustration Exchange
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The Way of the Cross

Good Friday Easter Heaven

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-04-07

Scripture: 2 Timothy 2:11

Author: Annie Johnson Flint
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Radical Forgiveness Is What the Cross Is All About

Forgiveness Good Friday Murder

Contributed By: Francis Balla | Date Posted: 2014-03-22

Scripture: Luke 23:33

Author: Francis Balla
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A Hollow Easter

Easter Good Friday Resurrection

Contributed By: Kory Trinrud | Date Posted: 2013-04-20

Scripture: Matthew 28:6

Author: Kory Trinrud
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The Unwanted Ones

Resurrection Good Friday Persecution

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-04-05

Scripture: John 15:18 ; 1 Peter 4:13

Author: Illustration Exchange
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What Jesus Wants

Forgiveness Sin Good Friday

Contributed By: Pat Sage | Date Posted: 2013-03-30

Scripture: John 1:29

Author: The Editors of Nelson's Annual Preacher's Sourcebo
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