It has been said that some of the most important things that a person has to say in life are uttered as their final words.
That is not always true, and history itself will affirm that, but in a few occasions amidst the conflicting emotions of the final moments of life on earth, pearls of wisdom do come – usually among those who know and love the Lord.
The most famous words for the Christian, are the words of Jesus, and they are without doubt the greatest note of triumph ever sounded in the ears of a startled universe and were sounded on the Cross of Christ— “It is finished!” (John 19:30). That is the final word in the redemption of humankind.
Nothing we can say surpasses those words either in meaning, implication, assertion or profoundness. The mystery behind those words is beyond comprehension. But we have a long time to try.
The internet is littered by the last words of mankind, some of them thought-provoking, others are sad and desperate. A few are just plain silly. But they all reflect one thing, an end. Jesus words were the only ones that speak of not just a hope for the future, but a fait accompli. The wrath of God was satisfied in Christ, and now through his full, penal substitutionary atonement mankind can be reconciled to God through faith in Christ. Death has been defeated, For the Church sin is removed, along with shame and guilt. All of this is being expressed behind those wonderful words, exhaled on the Cross.
My last words, if I could remember them in such a moment and with clarity would not be my own. I doubt that anything I could mutter in this world would match the wisdom of these words. Jesus last words carry the greatest weightiness possible, and King Solomon’s wisdom reflects on those words with prophetic vision, understanding and inspiration of God’s Spirit;
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
Be not wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. (Proverbs 3:5-7)
Full points to the man who can remember all those words as his final words as the light of this world dims and gives way to the breath-taking glory of the kingdom of heaven; but they are words of life-imparting wisdom, and the greatest treasure to accompany the knowledge of God, whom to know, is life eternal.
That said, on to the words of man, and in between the words you can hear the whispers of man’s mortality, suffering, pain and heartache.
We need Christ in our lives, nothing else will suffice.
Thomas Jefferson–still survives…
~~ John Adams, US President, d. July 4, 1826
This is the last of earth! I am content.
~~ John Quincy Adams, US President, d. February 21, 1848
Is it not meningitis?
~~ Louisa M. Alcott, writer, d. 1888
Waiting are they? Waiting are they? Well–let ’em wait.
In response to an attending doctor who attempted to comfort him by saying, “General, I fear the angels are waiting for you.”
~~ Ethan Allen, American Revolutionary general, d. 1789
Am I dying or is this my birthday?
When she woke briefly during her last illness and found all her family around her bedside.
~~ Lady Nancy Astor, d. 1964
Nothing, but death.
When asked by her sister, Cassandra, if there was anything she wanted.
~~ Jane Austen, writer, d. July 18, 1817
Codeine . . . bourbon.
~~ Tallulah Bankhead, actress, d. December 12, 1968
How were the receipts today at Madison Square Garden?
~~ P. T. Barnum, entrepreneur, d. 1891
I can’t sleep.
~~ James M. Barrie, author, d. 1937
Is everybody happy? I want everybody to be happy. I know I’m happy.
~~ Ethel Barrymore, actress, d. June 18, 1959
Die? I should say not, dear fellow. No Barrymore would allow such a conventional thing to happen to him.
~~ John Barrymore, actor, d. May 29, 1942
I am ready to die for my Lord, that in my blood the Church may obtain liberty and peace.
~~ Thomas à Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, d.1170
Now comes the mystery.
~~ Henry Ward Beecher, evangelist, d. March 8, 1887
Friends applaud, the comedy is finished.
~~ Ludwig van Beethoven, composer, d. March 26, 1827
I should never have switched from Scotch to Martinis.
~~ Humphrey Bogart, actor, d. January 14, 1957
~~ Napoleon Bonaparte, French Emperor, May 5, 1821
Oh, I am not going to die, am I? He will not separate us, we have been so happy.
Spoken to her husband of 9 months, Rev. Arthur Nicholls.
~~ Charlotte Bronte, writer, d. March 31, 1855
Et tu, Brute?
~~ Gaius Julius Caesar, Roman Emperor, d. 44 BC
~~ Charles V, King of France, d. 1380
I’m bored with it all.
Before slipping into a coma. He died 9 days later.
~~ Winston Churchill, statesman, d. January 24, 1965
This time it will be a long one.
~~ Georges Clemenceau, French premier, d. 1929
I have tried so hard to do the right.
~~ Grover Cleveland, US President, d. 1908
Goodnight my darlings, I’ll see you tomorrow.
~~ Noel Coward, writer, d. 1973
Damn it . . . Don’t you dare ask God to help me.
To her housekeeper, who had begun to pray aloud.
~~ Joan Crawford, actress, d. May 10, 1977
That was a great game of golf, fellers.
~~ Harry Lillis “Bing” Crosby, singer / actor, d. October 14, 1977
I am not the least afraid to die.
~~ Charles Darwin, d. April 19, 1882
It is very beautiful over there.
~~ Thomas Alva Edison, inventor, d. October 18, 1931
No, I shall not give in. I shall go on. I shall work to the end.
~~ Edward VII, King of Britain, d. 1910
All my possessions for a moment of time.
~~ Elizabeth I, Queen of England, d. 1603
I’ve had a hell of a lot of fun and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.
~~ Errol Flynn, actor, d. October 14, 1959
A dying man can do nothing easy.
~~ Benjamin Franklin, statesman, d. April 17, 1790
Come my little one, and give me your hand.
Spoken to his daughter, Ottilie.
~~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, writer, d. March 22, 1832
I know you have come to kill me. Shoot coward, you are only going to kill a man.
Facing his assassin, Mario Teran, a Bolivian soldier.
~~ Ernesto “Che” Guevara, d. October 9, 1967
Yes, it’s tough, but not as tough as doing comedy.
When asked if he thought dying was tough.
~~ Edmund Gwenn, actor, d. September 6, 1959
God will pardon me, that’s his line of work.
~~ Heinrich Heine, poet, d. February 15, 1856
Turn up the lights, I don’t want to go home in the dark.
~~ O. Henry (William Sidney Porter), writer, d. June 4, 1910
All is lost. Monks, monks, monks!
~~ Henry VIII, King of England, d. 1547
I am about to take my last voyage, a great leap in the dark.
~~ Thomas Hobbes, writer, d. 1679
I see black light.
~~ Victor Hugo, writer, d. May 22, 1885
Let us cross over the river and sit in the shade of the trees.
Killed in error by his own troops at the battle of Chancellorsville during the US Civil War.
~~ General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, d. 1863
Now I have finished with all earthly business, and high time too. Yes, yes, my dear child, now comes death.
~~ Franz Leher, composer, d. October 24, 1948
A King should die standing.
~~ Louis XVIII, King of France, d. 1824
Why do you weep. Did you think I was immortal?
~~ Louis XIV, King of France, d. 1715
Go on, get out – last words are for fools who haven’t said enough.
To his housekeeper, who urged him to tell her his last words so she could write them down for posterity.
~~ Karl Marx, revolutionary, d. 1883
Lord help my poor soul.
~~ Edgar Allan Poe, writer, d. October 7, 1849
Put out the light.
~~ Theodore Roosevelt, US President, d. 1919
Don’t let it end like this. Tell them I said something.
~~ Pancho Villa, Mexican revolutionary, d. 1923
I have offended God and mankind because my work did not reach the quality it should have.
~~ Leonardo da Vinci, artist, d. 1519