And be sure of this:
I am with you always,
even to the end of the age.
Matthew 28:20b NLT
For two summers as a young adult, I worked at a summer camp. The first summer I worked as a counselor, playing “big sister/momma/activities director” to a different group of girls every week for ten weeks. The second summer, I worked on the Challenge Team, which organized and led team building activities on the climbing tower, high ropes course and low ropes course.
It was during the second summer that I distinctly remember developing a specific fear of death. I only told one or two people – ever – so let’s just keep this between us. I wasn’t afraid of the 40-foot drop or the pain that it would obviously entail. I wasn’t afraid of falling on someone else in my hypothetical fall.
I was afraid that, as I fell to my death, I might accidentally let a swear word slip out my mouth in the extreme terror of falling.
I didn’t want my last impact (no pun intended) on the world to be a squawking profanity.
This awkward memory was on my mind as I wrapped up reading Matthew’s account of Jesus’ life. Jesus was much more eloquent with his last words. Nothing even CLOSE to squawking or profanity came out of his mouth through his painful death on the cross.
But those aren’t even the last words I’m talking about.
I’m blown away by the wisdom in his last words after rising from the dead. Seriously. If those were the only words I could remember in my lifetime, they would be enough. Check it out:
“Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given complete authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20 NLT)
Here’s the three-step breakdown of that awesomeness:
- Beyond your wildest dreams and deepest understanding, I’m in charge. I have been given complete authority in heaven and on earth. (v. 18) COMPLETE authority. There is ZERO wiggle-room here.
- Be contagious in imitating the joy and responsibility given to us by our awesome, eternal King. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. (v. 19-20a) Spread grace and truth CONSTANTLY – saving nothing for each tomorrow – giving everyone a chance to know the joy we have.
- He’s with us every moment of every moment. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age. (v. 20b) In every conceivable measurement of time, experience, thought and emotion, he is there. The complete authority in heaven and on earth is with us. WOW.
Okay, if those aren’t the most EPIC last words ever, I don’t know what are.
Dear Lord, you really know how to cut through the chatter and rock my world. Thank you so much for preserving these words for us so that we can read them and take courage in them 2000+ years later. Thank you for being with us every moment of every moment. Amen.
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