Summary: How important are our dying words? A comparison between the last dying words when Christ was crucified with two criminals and what we might say or do in our last moments.

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Last Dying words .Luke 23 v32-43

A deacon is in the hospital and his good friend, the vicar goes to visit him. The vicar notices all the medical equipment attached to the deacon. He kneels by the bed. The deacon motions to a pad and pen on the bedside cabinet. The vicar hands his friend the pad and pen, and the deacon begins to write. Suddenly, the deacon dies. At his funeral, the vicar delivers the service. He says, "I was with him when he died, and as a matter of fact, I have his last thought in my coat pocket here." The vicar pulls out the paper and reads, "Please, get up. You're kneeling on my oxygen hose."

The last words of a dying person are normally never forgotten. A person’s closing comments are diverse, often reveal their pain and agony. Some enter eternity without saying anything, while others utter sentiments that disclose their values, priorities, and innermost thoughts.

Right before P.T. Barnum the famous showman died, he asked, “How were the receipts today at Madison Square Garden?”

Humphrey Bogart’s last words were, “I should never have switched from Scotch to Martinis.” As he lay dying of throat cancer.

Joan Crawford was filled with anger when her maid began to pray out loud and said, “Don’t you dare ask God to help me!”

Leonardo da Vinci, when surveying his life’s work, said, “I have offended God and mankind because my work did not reach the quality it should have.”

General John Sedgwick, who fought in the Civil War, had his final words cut off in mid-sentence as his soldiers were seeking cover from some sharpshooters. This is what he said, “They couldn’t hit an elephant at this dist…”

Captain Smith of the Titanic “Lieutenant Wilde I have a good feeling about this cruise. Eye captain Smith, she’s a fine vessel. Completely unsinkable.

Groucho Marx “Either I’m dead or my watch has stopped”

Steve Jobs (founder or Apple Corporation) Oh wow, oh wow, of wow.

Charlie Chaplin when the priest at his deathbed said”May the Lord have mercy on your soul” replied “Why not? It belongs to him!

Tonight as we begin the season of Lent, let us thinks about both the final dying words and attitudes of the 3 men in our reading. In doing so I want to bring out 4 main points! I know when I did my training from St. John’s college they recommended 3 main points in a sermon but tonight you can have a bonus. I call them the 4 r’s no not including reading, writing and arithmetic! But Recognition, Repentance, Reconciliation and Reward.

The first Recognition: It’s interesting and certainly no coincidence how these 3 men were sharing the same fate together. Remember when in Mark 10 v35-39 Jesus two disciples James and John asked Jesus for the places of honor next to him in his kingdom, he told them they didn’t know what they were asking. Now that Jesus was preparing to inaugurate his kingdom through his death, the places on his right and left were taken by dying men, criminals. As my Life Application Bible points out, this shows that Jesus death is for all people, regardless of their past. As Jesus explained to his two position conscious disciples, a person who wants to be close to Jesus must be prepared to suffer and die. The way to the kingdom is through the uniqueness of the cross. Although mocked as a dying king of the Jews, and most kingdoms end with the death of a king, his death was the start not the end of his kingdom.

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