Good Friday: Revisiting Christ's Final Words
- Calvin Miller Author
- 2004 8 Apr
Then Jesus came near and said to them, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age." - Matthew 28:18-20
We have come to Good Friday. We remember the cross. We hear the words of Christ, spoken without fear yet cried through impossible pain:
"My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?"
"Father, forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing."
"Into Your hands I entrust My spirit."
"It is finished!"
Gripping words. Powerful words. But what were Jesus' final words? Here in the closing moments of his time on earth, the resurrected Lord spoke of taking his message to the world. There is no question what he considered most important. What is undeniable is that he is telling all his followers their lives are global in their consequence. Here is the force of Christ, the master motivator, imparting a dream of ultimate significance. Thus he leaves his church. He ascends and is gone. There stand the motivees.
Are they afraid of this gigantic dream he has left them? Hardly! They know they are to wait in Jerusalem until the Spirit comes. So empowered, they will march in obedience to Christ's command. No use lamenting that they are people with no national reputation. No reason for protesting that they are not graduates of prestigious academies. They are in love with their commander, and he is in love with the lost world.
Their assignment will not overwhelm them. Why? Because Christ has promised, "Remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age." Their task is great, but they do not have to accomplish it alone. Is not this same task yours? Do you not also have the promise of Christ? Yes, he will be with you. The task ahead will never be overwhelming. Best of all, in the company of Christ, your life will never lack significance.
Lord, the cross bears the marks of maturity on my soul this year. Through it I see the price of my salvation and the reason for me to forsake the sin that drove you there. But through it I also see a world so full of your lost lovers. I must never forget how much you love them. I must never walk by anyone who doesn't know you without wondering if you want to use me to make the introduction.
Adapted from "The Christ of Easter: Readings for the Season of Resurrection" by Calvin Miller © 2004 by Broadman & Holman Publishers. Used by special permission of Broadman & Holman Publishers. For any other use, please contact Broadman & Holman Publishers for permission. All rights reserved.
Photo credit: © Unsplash/Daniele Franchi