37 And Jesus uttered a loud cry, and breathed His last. 38 And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. 39 And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that He thus breathed His last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”
(Mark 15: 33-39)
Breath. Breathing. Inhale. Exhale. Breathe.
It isn’t something most people stop to think about. Breathing is just automatic to many. Breath is there. Breath is life. Without it, like Jesus, we breathe our last and die, ending our mortal lives. But what lives on, that is still breathing life into others around and beyond us? The centurion declared that Jesus must be the Son of God, based on what he saw and heard. What did he do after that? How was he affected and how did he affect others through this testimony? What lived on through spoken words breathed out?
Our lives can be a living, breathing testimony to Christ. When we cease to be in this life and take our last breath, have we thought about what those standing around us will say? What will they utter in small breaths? What will they declare afterward? How will we each yet live and breathe-even after our last breath?
Jesus used the last breaths He had to speak some very important words that yet live and breathe in us:
— Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up His clothes by casting lots. (Luke 23:34)
— Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with Me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43)
— 26 When Jesus saw His mother there, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” 27 and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home. (John 19:26-27)
— About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). (Matthew 27:46)
— Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” (John 19:28)
— After Jesus had taken the wine, He said, “It is finished.” Then He bowed his head and released His spirit. (John 19:30)
— Then Jesus cried out with a loud voice and said, “Father, into your hands I entrust my spirit.” After He said this, He breathed His last. (Luke 23:46)
Until and after His last breath, Jesus was teaching:
–Forgiveness to enemies, to those who do not come to our defense, to those who walk away.
–The reality of heaven, this prepared place where He will take us home to be with Him eternally.
–Responsibility to care and provide for family, an elder parent.
–The meaning of sin as anguished separation from God.
–Obedience to scripture and God’s Word, to the letter.
–The importance of completing everything God requires.
–That we must–and will—entrust our spirits to God in the end.
Learning in breaths, inhaling. Teaching in breaths, exhaling.
Breathe in the lessons. Breathe out His Words. Share Jesus.
Will we yet live and breathe—after our last breath?
(Sharon G. Tate blog 04/21/19 ) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word