5And Joshua said unto them, Pass over before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of Jordan, and take you up every man of you a stone upon his shoulder, according unto the number of the tribes of the children of Israel: 6That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones? 7Then ye shall answer them, That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever. -Joshua 4:5-7 (KJV)
There is a cemetery in eastern Kentucky where a number of my relatives and ancestors are buried. In a corner of the cemetery there are graves so old they are marked only with a stone. My late aunt was one of the few people who could walk through the cemetery and tell who was buried in those graves. Sadly, she is now with the Lord and I do not know anyone else in the family who possesses this information. Those grave markers, even though they are simple stones, mark the graves of real people who once lived their lives.
The Bible says after the Israelites ended their 40 years of wandering in the wilderness they crossed the Jordan River to enter the Promised Land. The Lord instructed them to take from the Jordan stones to set up as a memorial commemorating their passage into the Promised Land. Years later when their children would ask, “What do these stones mean?” They would tell them of the great works God had done in bringing them out of slavery, and then out of the wilderness and into the Land of Promise.
We too have markers in our lives to remind us of what the Lord has done for us. We set up spiritual stones as memorials to the great works the Lord has accomplished in our lives. When I look back on my life and I recall the wonders of God’s grace each instance becomes a stone of remembrance. These include salvation in Jesus Christ, God’s provision during lean times, the Lord’s guidance during hard times, and the Lord’s peace during troubled times. Every time I reflect on these situations I am reminded of the Lord’s faithfulness and love shown to me.
As followers of Christ we have Jesus, the chief cornerstone, the stone the builders rejected, yet unto us He is the solid rock, our Savior upon whom we stand and who holds us together. We consider the cross upon which Jesus died, which is a symbol of our faith. When people ask, “What does this cross mean?” Let us be prepared with the answer that upon the cross our Lord shed His blood for the sins of mankind.
Be thankful, be mindful, and be ready with an answer; Jesus Christ is Lord.