We were in the hospital with my dad for four days before he died and every time he opened his mouth to speak everyone that was in the room would walk up to his bedside to hear every syllable he uttered, it was that important to us. For the past day and a half I have been standing by my mother’s bedside for the same reason. The difference is that she can’t articulate, just mutters and points, whereas daddy was actually talking and telling us the wonders he was seeing as he prepared to leave us a final time. We have been taking pictures and making videos of things that she is saying hoping for a last directive or some personal statement, so far none of the above.
It seems that anytime someone dies, people want to know if “they had any last words”. Think about it, if you were standing by the bedside of your loved one and they looked as if they were about to speak, I am sure you would get a little closer to see what important instruction they might have for you to carry out, or a last word of love just as we are.
The last time I saw my aunt and best friend Joan, I sat on the side of her bed and she said some things to me that I will not repeat here, but they were very important words to me.
She had a vision of Jesus on Easter Sunday, she saw him walking into her room out of a bright light. She left with Him fifty days later, on Pentecost Sunday night at 10:10. The light that came into the room with Jesus never left and He came and went from that beautiful place readying her for her trip home.
As I was sitting there on her bed, her final word to me was to ask, “Do you see that light over there?” I told her that I could not see it, but I knew it was there and I asked her to tell me what it looked like, she said “Oh, it’s indescribable, it’s so beautiful,” then she looked me straight in the eyes and said “That’s where He came from and that’s where I’m going”, then she closed her eyes to rest. That was Friday evening and she walked through that light two days later. Those last words to me are priceless. So you may wonder where I am going with this?
I was thinking of these things and remembered some other famous “last words.” Jesus shared a Passover Supper with his friends in an upper room. It was the last time he would break bread with them before He became the sacrificial Lamb, crucified for our sin and the sin of the whole world past, present and future. Then Jesus revealed to them that He was going to be betrayed. There were questions, “Who is it?” “Lord is it I?”
Judas left the room, on his way to betray the Lord and when he had left, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is glorified..” (John13: 31) Jesus went on to tell them that there was a new commandment that they must love one another they way that He had loved them…enough to give His life for them. Verse 35 says, “By this all will now that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” Then he told them something that you and I should hold onto every day, it is found in chapter 14:1-3 “Let not your heart be troubled, you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansion; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you, and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.”
These were the words He spoke the last time He would ever walk with these men, his friends who would all scatter like scared sheep when the hour of His death would come.
If people can make a “death bed confession” and it stands in court as true, then I think we should listen to the “death bed” talk that Jesus gave to these men and use it for ourselves.
Is it easy? No, if it were, everyone would be an automatic Christian…it is in the trying to do good in the face of evil, or be sweet in the face of adversity that makes us real Christians, or Christ like.
No, we can’t do it on our own, but remember the verse Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Meanwhile I am waiting, and listening…