Jesus’ Last Words

By Josh Holland   •   May 14, 2010

Josh Holland, Crusade Associate for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, shares some biblical insight about the importance of allowing the Holy Spirit to work through us to be witnesses for Christ.

The Bible tells us that Jesus didn’t immediately go to heaven after He rose from the dead. For forty days, Jesus spent time on earth in his resurrected, glorified body. During this time period, we see Jesus throughout the gospels appearing to the disciples to encourage and teach them.

Even after spending three years with Jesus, these disciples were thinking, hoping and wishing that Jesus would physically establish His kingdom then and there. He told them in Acts 1:7, “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.” He wanted them to focus on being His witnesses.

The very next thing He said to them Acts 1:8 would be His very last words on earth: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

If all God wanted from you was just to have a relationship with you, don’t you think He would have taken you to heaven immediately after you accepted Christ? We’ll be developing our intimate relationship with Christ throughout the endless age. The reason He left us here is because there is a Gospel to preach, a Jesus to proclaim, and Good News to tell to the world.

Ready to Answer

Jesus has called us in our personal lives to be faithful witnesses. 1 Peter 3:15 tells us, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”

When I was a college freshman, I had the opportunity to share Christ with a guy named Eric in my dorm who was an atheist. I truly sensed the Holy Spirit softening his heart. I explained to him that it takes more faith to be an atheist than to be a Christian. Either creation came from nothing, or it came from something.

He began to follow that train of thought. I shared Gospel with him, and told him he could pray to receive Christ right there and then, and know he would be in presence of God for eternity, should he die in his sleep that night.

Tears welled up in his eyes, and I thought for sure this was the moment he was going to become a Christian. But he said, “Josh, I’m just not ready now.” I prayed with him anyway, and he went back to his dorm room.

I lay in bed for several hours beating myself up because he didn’t respond. I soon lost touch with him because I transferred schools at the end of the semester.

An Unforgettable Lesson

Sometime later, I was talking to a friend of mine involved in campus ministry, who mentioned that Eric was at a retreat that weekend.

Stunned, I asked my friend if this is the same Eric who lived on our hall as a freshman. He confirmed it, and told me that Eric had been given life to Christ, and was involved in campus ministry leadership.

It was through that phone conversation that God taught me that we’re not responsible for the harvest. Rather, we’re responsible for sowing a seed and being faithful to tell others.

We’ve all got one purpose and it’s to fulfill those last words of Jesus. Heed them as never before. They are vital.

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  1. Annette Harrison says:

    God is faithful.

  2. Roy Hale says:

    In season and out?

  3. Nsikak Matthew says:

    It’s a very short but rich message.

  4. Subroto Fu says:

    What was Jesus’ the actual last words on the cross just before He gave up His Spirit?

    1. BGEA says:

      In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus says, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit” before breathing His last (vs. 46). The Gospel of John, verse 30, records Him as saying, “It is finished” before giving up His spirit. Regardless of which He said at the very end, the important part is that He died for us and rose again, providing the only way to salvation.

  5. movert munthali says:

    I thank God for the Holy Spirit which entered in. Eric, my question: What is the most effective way of drawing ourselves near to God? Is it through going to church every Sabbath or committing ourselves to God?

  6. Kirsten Turner says:

    I am a born-again Christian (8/9/15). I have always been a Christian, but ever since I was baptized at the age of 48, I have been studying and reading about our Savior…I can’t get enough of Jesus! I have not been able to speak in tongues yet. My biggest question is, what is the best thing for us to say when people ask us what is the reason for the hope we have? I know my face lights up when I am asked this. However, I always seem to be speechless. Answers, anyone?

  7. Junior says:

    Good word Josh.

    1. Movert munthali says:

      It’s not only speaking in tongues that proves your nearness to God but your conduct. We have hope, and awaiting for Jesus in accordance to His last words on this earth, as He said that He has gone to prepare us a place and He will be back to get us.

    2. Roy Hale says:

      The spiritual gifts given to us are to help others, not ourselves.