Thankful for His Last Words
Jesus' last words show us His heart for a lost and dying world.
Samuel Rutherford, theologian and Bible scholar in the 1600s, had this to say as he lay on his deathbed: "Mine eye shall see my Redeemer. He has pardoned, loved, and washed me, and given me joy unspeakable and full of glory. Glory shines in Immanuel's land!"
Many great men of the faith have spoken of Heaven, faith, peace, and Christ in their last words, just as Samuel Rutherford did. But consider the last words of our Lord-not before His death, but before His ascension to Heaven. Our verses record the last commands He gave His disciples: "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen."
Even as He was preparing to leave this world, Jesus' heart was with those who had yet to hear of His salvation. He commanded the disciples to reach out to the world, to tell lost souls what He had done, and to teach them of His love for them.
Aren't you thankful for a God who has a heart for every person on earth? He desires that everyone would hear, everyone would know, and everyone would come to believe in Him. He could have used His last words to give the disciples several commands, point out highlights of His earthly ministry, or give instructions to the church; yet He pointed the disciples to the world and to those who were still lost.
Christ's last words, His last command, shows us His heart. He desires that our focus be on those who are unsaved. Our main goal should be to reach the world with the Gospel. While we may create programs to help us achieve that, never forget Jesus' last words: "Go ye..."
Sometimes we can forget God's command. We may become so caught up with "life" that we fail to work at what really matters-telling others of Christ. The disciples had much to do in the way of establishing the church, ministering to believers, and caring for others; yet Christ reminded them, "Don't forget those who have never heard. Don't neglect those who haven't believed. I died for them too."
Remembering Christ's last words, how are you doing at focusing on the salvation of others? Have you become so caught up in the minutia of everyday life that you have neglected telling others of Christ? Jesus didn't point to a new church program or a different process; He pointed to the people.
Thank God for His last command. Thank God that His heart was, and still is, to see everyone trust Him for salvation and spend eternity with Him in Heaven. That's the whole reason He came to earth! Don't allow other things in life to crowd out your vision for lost souls. Keep the vision of the Cross fresh in your mind, and remember that God wants you to spread His message of salvation to those who have yet to trust Him.
Source: dailyintheword.org, November 18, 2009