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Famous Last Words

 

A person’s last words can often tell us a lot about their life. Give us great insight into what they thought was important and/or believed what their purpose on this earth might have been. Other times, not so much. Consider if you will the famous last words of General John Sedgwick, Union Commander killed during the US Civil War: "They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist...”. Or more recently the final words of Todd Beamer, passenger on board United Flight 93 that fateful Sept. 11, 2001: "Are you guys ready? Let's roll”. Or the world famous statesman, Winston Churchill who’s last recorded words before slipping into a coma and dying were “I’m bored”. And finally, who could forget the lovely parting words of Karl Marx, "Go on, get out - last words are for fools who haven't said enough."

 

In preparing this slice of manna for your spiritual edification, I came across some “famous last words” that I do believe carried great weight. So much weight that when they were spoken time was split in half and darkness covered the earth. These words can be found in the Book of John, chapter 19 verse 30 where we read “When He had received the drink, Jesus said, ‘It is finished.’ With that He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.”

 

To those unfamiliar with these famous last words, and even for those who are quite familiar with them, the question is begged of “What is it?” What does “It” mean?

 

Well, I’ve often heard it said that Scripture interprets scripture. Meaning that when we come across a passage of scripture in the Bible which is unclear to us and/or we seek further understanding, we need only look deeper into His Word. We don’t need to go to commentaries or “Google” our quandaries, we have everything we need in GOD’s Holy Word. Moreover, we have His promise in Matthew 7:7 that if we seek the truth we will find it.

 

So in seeking to understand more clearly what Jesus was talking about when he uttered those famous last words “It is finished”, let’s take the approach of the Acts 17 Bereans and examine the scriptures a little deeper to see what mysteries GOD wants to reveal to us.

Consider for example, what happens when we break the word “it” down in hopes of understanding just exactly what “it” was Christ was referring to. I know at first blush it may sound silly as it’s only a two letter word and how can anyone breakdown something so small. But my point draws on the contrary. That “it” is not small at all and if anything “it” is huge and may be just beyond our capabilities of comprehension.

 

For instance, what is the first letter in the word “it”? Well, it’s “I” of course and there certainly is no lack of Scripture to identify for us who the “I” actually is. Consider for example:

 

Exodus 3:12             “…it is I who have sent you…”

Psalm 75:2               “…it is I who judge…”

Isaiah 45:12              “…it is I who made the earth and created mankind…”

Ezekiel 7:9                “Then you will know that “it” is I…”

Matthew 14:27          “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid”

Mark 6:50                  “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid”

John 6:20                  “…”it” is I…”

 

Conclusion: “I” is Jesus/Christ

 

Now, that brings us to the remaining half of the word “it” which is T. Hmmm, what does T have to do with good (ooops, great) Friday you might be asking. Well, I believe “T’s” symbolism is even more apparent than that of “I’s” and is found in its shape. I “T” is composed of a two perpendicular lines, one horizontal and one vertical. Anything else come to mind when you paste that image in your conscience? Yea, for me too, the Cross. And consider for a moment if you will the following scripture:

 

Matthew 27:32         “…they forced Him to carry the cross.”

Mark 15:30               “…come down from the cross and save yourself!”

Luke 9:22-23            “If anyone should be a disciple of me, let him pick up his cross daily and follow me.”

John 19:17               “Carrying his own cross…”

Acts 2:23                  “…put Him to death by nailing Him to the cross.”

Colossians 1:20       “…peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”

 

Conclusion: “T” is the Cross

 

So there you have “it”. It seems really pretty simple and elementary once you just think about it and break “it” down. And now I understand just a little bit better what Jesus was talking about when He uttered those simple yet poignant words immediately preceding his death, “It is finished.” The I is Jesus and the T is the cross. So “IT” is Jesus’ death on the cross. That’s why he came. He came not to judge the world but to save it and He did this by carrying with him the sin of the world so that it could die on the cross with him.

 

So as you ponder the analysis above, please take a moment to think about what Jesus actually did for both you and I on the cross. Consider what your last words might be should the Lord call you home today. If you don’t know Christ, it’s not too late to begin a relationship with Him today. If you do, you may one day here some additional famous first words as you approach your Heavenly home. “Well done, my good and faithful servant”.


This Friday for me will never again be just a “good” Friday, but will forever more be GREAT Friday.


Happy Easter for Jesus is Risen!


[Please click here to listen to Easter : The Story (audio)]                                                                                   Issue #2



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