Famous Last Words

1 April, 2018 Easter Sunday

If you knew you only had moments to live, what would you want your last words to be?
What final words would you want to be remembered by?

Let’s have a quick look at the last words of some famous people.

General John Sedgwick (killed in battle during the US Civil War): “They couldn’t hit an elephant at this dist…”

Dylan Thomas, great English writer: “I’ve had eighteen straight whiskeys. I think that’s the record.”

Leonardo da Vinci, one of the most accomplished artists and scientists in the history of mankind: “I have offended God and mankind because my work did not reach the quality it should have.”

When we look at the last words of Jesus, we find something truly extraordinary. This morning, I want to look at three of the last things that Jesus said. I want you to remember that these were spoken by an innocent man who had been tortured and condemned to die; a man who had been abandoned and betrayed by his closest friends; a man who was in absolute physical, emotional and spiritual agony.

  1. To his mother, he said referring to the disciple John,
    “Here is your son”
    and to John, referring to his mother, he said,
    “Here is your mother”
    Even in the throes of death, right to the end, Jesus was concerned for the welfare of his family and closest friends. That tells us the sort of person Jesus was.
  2. To a thief on the cross beside Him, a man who deserved no mercy for what he had done, Jesus spoke words of forgiveness and kindness. When the thief acknowledged Jesus as the Christ and asked for mercy, Jesus said,
    自分のしたことの報いを受けて隣で同じように十字架にかけられていた犯罪人に、イエスは 赦しと優しい言葉をかけました。その犯罪人がイエスをキリストだと認め、憐れみを乞うた時、イエスは言いました。
    “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
    It’s unfathomable to earthly minds how someone [Jesus] who had endured so much pain and humiliation and loss, could be [remained] so kind and forgiving to someone so undeserving. But that’s who Jesus was.
  3. But the most remarkable words he spoke were those at the very end. Two sentences, they tell us exactly who Jesus was; in fact, they reflect Jesus’ whole life and purpose.

The first of these sentences was
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
These are the words of a man in spiritual agony. Jesus was one with God the Father. He was always with God, He had never been apart from God. But because Jesus, like a sacrificial lamb, took our sins upon Him, He became an offense to God. So there on the cross, God the Father turned His back on His Son Jesus and rejected Him, condemning Him to death.

What we have to understand, is that with these words, Jesus wasn’t just crying out hopelessly. He was quoting Psalm 22 which begins with these very words, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

What else does Psalm 22 say?
Very quickly, the Psalm turns into a confession of praise. Verses 3-5 say,

“Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;
you are the one Israel praises.
In you our ancestors put their trust;
they trusted and you delivered them.
To you they cried out and were saved;
in you they trusted and were not put to shame.”
Psalm 22:3-5


Even on the cross, Jesus exalts God and praises Him for the mighty Deliverer that He is. He doesn’t deny His pain or suffering. His suffering is real and undeniable. But even in the midst of such awful circumstances, Jesus praises God as the Holy One and as the One who would save Him. What a remarkable example for us as we struggle with our own hardships and challenges!

Psalm 22 is much more than this, though. Written 1000 years before Jesus was born, it is also a powerful prophecy, describing in accurate and graphic terms the sort of death that Jesus would die:

“Dogs surround me,
a pack of villains encircles me;
they pierce my hands and my feet.
All my bones are on display;
people stare and gloat over me.
They divide my clothes among them
and cast lots for my garment.”
Psalm 22:16-18


This is an extraordinary prophecy, not only because of its accuracy, but because it talks about Jesus’ hands and feet being pierced. Crucifixion wouldn’t be invented for another 1000 years. So King David, who wrote the Palm, was really given a powerful vision. Only God could provide this.

Yet it’s the final three words that Jesus uttered on the cross which are the most remarkable. He simply said, “It is finished”. What did he mean by this? His life was finished? There was no hope anymore?

Look at the last three verses of Psalm 22 to find the answer:

All the rich of the earth will feast and worship;
all who go down to the dust will kneel before him—
those who cannot keep themselves alive.
Posterity will serve him;
future generations will be told about the Lord.
They will proclaim his righteousness,
declaring to a people yet unborn:
He has done it!
Psalm 22:29-31


See the last four words here? “He has done it!”

Jesus last words on the cross are not hopeless exasperation that all is gone and everything was over. Far from it! Jesus final words are a great declaration of victory!

It is finished:完了した
The tyranny of sin is finished.罪のしいたげは完了した
The power of the devil is finished.悪魔の力は完了した
The work of salvation is now complete.救いのはたらきは完了した
He has done it:成し遂げられた
Jesus has paid the price for our sin.イエスは罪の代価を払われた
Jesus has beaten the devil.イエスは悪魔に打ち勝った
Jesus has brought salvation and eternal
life to all who believe in Him.

This all sounds good in theory. But how do we know this is true? How can we know this is worth changing our lives for? Maybe Jesus just got lucky with the prophecy – if being crucified can be considered lucky – and He said those things from Psalm 22 to make everything look all right.
How do we know that this great victory of Jesus is real and relevant to us today? Very easy.

Jesus rose from the dead!

That is what we celebrate on Easter Sunday. Jesus came alive after his death, and Jesus is alive today!

We know that he died, and didn’t just pass out.

We know that the body was missing, and that the Romans had no explanation for where it might have gone. They certainly didn’t produce the body when the disciples were celebrating His resurrection.

We know that 500 people met with the risen Jesus before He was taken back to heaven.

That’s how we know it’s true. This can only be a miracle of God.

That is why we celebrate on Easter Sunday. Jesus is alive.

Jesus died to pay the price for our sins, but He resurrected to new life and is alive today!

This is how we know it’s true and this is worth changing our lives for. In fact, this is how our lives are changed by God. Jesus is alive today and He lives and moves in our lives through His Holy Spirit, who is given to all who turn from their sins, and believe in Jesus choose to follow Him.
In Christ, our sins are forgiven – our souls are free! In Christ, we share in His resurrection and enter new life. We become whole new creations!

This morning, I want to ask you, what will your last words be? Will they be “Give me another shot of whiskey”? Or will they be “Jesus, remember me when I come to you”?

Just as important, what will your very next words be this Easter Sunday? Will they be “When’s lunch?” or will they be “Jesus, come into my life”?

Becoming a Christian is simple, but it’s profound. If you want the resurrected, living Jesus to come into your life, to free you from sin, to fill you with His Holy Spirit, to give you the gift of new life, then repent and be baptised into Jesus Christ.

You can do this easily today by making a decision to turn from wrongdoing and to give your life exclusively to Jesus. You can do this as simply as by praying a prayer of faith, making Jesus Christ the most important person in your life, and, in place of baptism for today, receiving, along with the rest of the church, the elements of bread and grape juice which symbolise the body and blood of Jesus Christ. Eating and drinking these means you become one with Christ, your sins are forgiven and new life is given to you.

I’m going to say a prayer of salvation now. On this Easter day, if you want to start your life over, be born again in Christ, and enter the kingdom of God, then pray this prayer with me in your heart, and then come forward with everyone else for prayer and to receive the elements of communion.

Sinner’s Prayer/救いの祈り

Dear God in heaven, I come to you in the name of Jesus. I acknowledge to You that I am a sinner, and I am sorry for my sins and the life that I have lived; I need your forgiveness.

I believe that Your only Son Jesus Christ shed His precious blood on the cross at Calvary and died for my sins, and I am now willing to turn from my sin.

You said in Your Holy Word, that if we confess the Lord our God and believe in our hearts that God raised Jesus from the dead, we shall be saved.

Right now I confess Jesus as the Lord of my soul. With my heart, I believe that God raised Jesus from the dead. This very moment I accept Jesus Christ as my own personal Savior and according to His Word, right now I am saved.

Thank you Jesus for your unlimited grace which has saved me from my sins. I thank you Jesus that your grace never leads to license, but rather it always leads to repentance. Therefore Lord Jesus transform my life so that I may bring glory and honor to you alone and not to myself. Fill me with your Holy Spirit that I might live under your guidance and receive the full measure of blessings that you intend for me.

With all my heart I desire to love You Father God, follow You Lord Jesus, and be filled every day with Your Holy Spirit.

Thank you for saving me and giving me eternal life.