Whilst our words are always important, sometimes they have extra importance. Occasionally we are in a situation where we have to choose our words carefully. Prior to coming to Carey, I was a pastor and in that role I sometimes spoke with someone who had only a short time to live – that’s when words have an extra importance. Recently I watched a video of a professor addressing a graduating class – they hung on his every word. The reason? It was the last time he would ever address them, as he had cancer and only had months to live.
At this time of the year many reflect upon the Easter story. It is an interesting study to reflect upon the words of Jesus in the final hours of His life. Every word a dying person speaks is worthy of reflection, for it tells us much about them. Jesus prayed that God would forgive those who were causing His pain, He graciously offered the thief next to Him eternity spent in His presence, He ensured that Mary (His mother) would be cared for by John, and He uttered the cry ‘It is finished’. Such a cry was the triumphant declaration of a victorious army general who had defeated the enemy. No one would have expected a dying man upon a cross to utter that cry. Yet Jesus did.
His life had been gloriously and victoriously lived. He had accomplished all that God had for Him and within moments of uttering this cry, He had taken in his last breath. He had met raging hatred with pure love, He had met cruelty and violence with forgiveness, He had overcome fear with immense courage, and He had conquered the power of death with His life. Soon that victory would be for all to see. When a person is struggling for breath they do not waste words. Not that Jesus ever wasted words – but His response on the cross is worthy of reflection.
Senior School Chaplain