Last Words

Matthew 27:41-43 Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.”

When faced with the end of our lives, the words we speak can linger in the hearts of those left. Words spoken to those dying are essential as well. 

I wonder how the Pharisees felt when they knew that Jesus had risen from the dead?

Here in this passage, they mocked him, thinking they had won. Pride kept them from admitting openly that He was the Messiah. 

We will never know when a person’s life will end. Thus, it behooves us to think carefully about the words we speak to one another. This was never more evident than when my mother died. 

My mother had contracted what we learned later was strep pneumonia. Her kidneys were failing, and her heart was so stressed it began to show sins of congestive heart failure. While she was still conscious, she had conversations with two daughters that didn’t end well.

One of my sister’s last words was, “I hate you.”

Soon after, Mom went into a grand mall seizure from which she never recovered. As we stood at the edge of her bed when the life support was terminated, my sister screamed, “NO!” 

It has been twenty years since Mom passed, and my sister has carried that with her all these years. She has reconciled it with herself but cannot erase the memory.

How we speak to each other cannot be flippant or careless. Some think it easy to be the critic or the gossip, spewing their caustic words around like we all agree with them.

It must be up to us to rebuke the critic, the gossip, and those whose words tear down wound, and destroy.

The only record we have of any Pharisee turning from their hatred of Jesus was Nicodemus. He came to Jesus by night to search out the truth of the gospel. The record of John chapter 3 is famous, and we use it to show others how to be saved.

Nicodemus was there at the crucifixion and helped Joseph of Arimathaea to take Jesus down from the cross.

John 19:38-39 And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus. And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight.”

We can assume that Nicodemus was saved before Jesus was taken, tried, and crucified by the chronology. 

To think of those last words as they ring in the minds of those now burning in Hell is sobering. 

Search your hearts. See if we need to make amends before it is too late. Living with regret is lasting and compounded if we knew it could have been avoided. Keep short accounts with all men. The Word of God admonishes us:

Ephesians 4:26-27 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.”

You’ll be glad that you did.

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