Ever wondered what your last words would be?
When your final breath has been taken, what will people remember you saying?
Your final words can be profound. If it was a fight, people regret it forever. If it was an expression of love, people feel comfort.
What will your final words be?
In light of the Easter season, I thought I’d spend some time pondering the final words of Jesus, my Savior, and sharing them with you. After all there are no more famous last words.
Disclaimer: Some of these thoughts will be my own, some that of my professors, and some that of my Bible study that just discussed this.
Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. (Luke 23:34)
Isn’t it amazing? Jesus is dying the worst death possible and he thinks of the people killing him. Of us. He begs the Father for our forgiveness in the moment of his death. Jesus’ example has always been that of forgiveness, of love, of grace, of mercy. He never changed. From the moment of his birth to the moment of his death, his concern was for us. For our souls. For our salvation. It’s amazing.
Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise. (Luke 23:43)
This gives me hope. Until the final moment of your life you can have forgiveness and it will be granted to you. Your life matters, what you do matters, but ultimately the only thing that matters to Jesus is that you ask for forgiveness and believe in him. He died for you. And whether you live your whole life for him or wait until the last moment, his grace and forgiveness can be yours. Regardless of your deeds. Regardless of how you live your life. His grace is free. His love is free. His forgiveness is free. You just have to ask for it.
Woman, behold, your son! (John 19: 26)
It’s about family. A spiritual family. This is Jesus giving his mother a spiritual family. A family who believes Jesus is the promised Messiah. And we can have this family too. When we accept the promise of Jesus, we can be in his family. We are never truly alone. I like this. I think it is why Christian communities thrive and survive. We are social beings, and we can have a spiritual family who understands us at our core. That is what being a believer gives.
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? (Matthew 27:46)
In this moment the sins of the world are on Jesus’ shoulders. God, who cannot abide by sin, is forced to look turn away from that sin, from his son. In this moment, Jesus is separated from God. And that would have been our fate. Without Jesus, God could not abide with us. He could not look to us. He could not save us. He loves us, but he would have had to forsake us. But Jesus took our sin on himself. He took our pain and our punishment and everything we deserved. So we will never have to be separated from God if we choose.
I thirst. (John 19:28)
It is a human thing to be thirsty. It is one of our basic needs. But spiritually we thirst too. We need God, and he is the only thing that can quench that thirst. God fulfills all our needs, physically and spiritually. We thirst, and his our drink. We hunger, and he feeds us. We cry, and he comforts us.
Father, into your hands I commit my spirit! (Luke 23: 46)
It is a brave thing to give someone control of your life. Jesus knew what his life was coming to, even if no one else did. He knew he would die. But he trusted the Father, and he trusted the plan. He gave God his life. Just as we are called to do. God has ultimate control. We have a hard time giving up control. I want to keep some of that control. I don’t trust fully. But Jesus did, even at the worst moment. This should be our prayer as well.
It is finished (John 19:30)
That is it. It is over. Jesus has died. But it’s more than that. The wrath of God is satisfied. Jesus finished that too. Our salvation is available. Jesus finished it. There is nothing left to do. Not for Jesus and not for us. There is nothing we can do to earn our salvation. Jesus did the work. Now all we have to do is accept it.
Famous last words. Jesus did this all for us. He died for us. It is a free gift of salvation for us.