The Last Prayer of Jesus
By Good News Publishers
A person’s dying words can reveal much about them. We often hear of someone’s using their final words to express love, regret, gratitude, and many other things. These last moments often reveal the deepest parts of our soul. Imagine you had only a few more seconds to live. What would you use those last moments to say?
The Bible says that Jesus Christ died on a cross outside the city of Jerusalem nearly 2,000 years ago. Amazingly, we know what Jesus, who lived the most extraordinary life in history, said in his dying moments: “It is finished.”
Why? What did Jesus mean by saying “It is finished”? Why would someone who healed thousands of sick, raised the dead, turned water into wine, and predicted his own death use his last moments to say this?
The answer is that when Jesus was on the cross, he was doing something more than dying. He wasn’t merely losing his life. He was finishing something. In fact, he was finishing something for me and you.
As the perfect Son of God, Jesus knew God perfectly and perfectly obeyed him. Everything that you and I try to be and do in our lives, Jesus fulfilled without any blemish. He loved God and people totally. His thoughts were only ever spotlessly pure. He never said anything false—about God or about others. His thoughts were only wisdom, his emotions were only right, and his motives were only pure.
Someone this perfect would never deserve to die. Jesus did nothing to deserve being crucified. The Bible says that Jesus died, not because he deserved it, but because we did. Jesus laid down his own life so that you and I could have it.
What Jesus “finished” on the cross was taking the punishment that our sin deserves so that we could be forgiven and know and enjoy God forever. Our failing efforts to please God by ourselves are finished, because the perfect Son of God laid down his perfect life for imperfect people.
But the story doesn’t stop there. Jesus did not stay dead. Three days after dying on the cross, Jesus came back to life. It was not possible for death to hold onto him, because he defeated it. Every religious figure in history has had one thing in common: they died and stayed dead. Jesus could not stay dead because he wasn’t just one more religious figure. He was, and is, the Son of God.
Taking our sins on the cross? Finished!
Bearing our guilt so that we can know and love God forever? Finished!
Rising from the grave, defeating death, and now reigning over the universe forever? Finished!
A person’s dying words can reveal who they really are.
Jesus’s words, “It is finished,” revealed who he really is: the only Savior who can make us right with God, if we will turn from our sin and put our trust in him. He finished it for us. All we must do is believe him.
If you want to receive this gift that Jesus offers you, call out to him right now with a prayer like this one:
Heavenly Father, I believe that Jesus Christ is your Son, and that he died on the cross to save me from my sin. I believe that he rose again to life, and that he invites me to live forever with him in heaven as part of your family. Because of what Jesus has done, I ask you to forgive me of my sin and give me eternal life. Please guide me to a Bible-believing church where I can grow as a Christian with others who love Jesus. Amen.