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People are often fascinated by the last words of famous people. Did you know that on the night he died, Elvis Presley reportedly said, “I’m going to the bathroom to read”? A member of French royalty in the early 1700s, the Comtesse de Vercellis, passed gas while she was dying. She said, “Good. A woman who can fart is not dead.”
As humorous as these examples are, most people reach out to loved ones. As he died, actor John Wayne, turned to his wife and said, “Of course I know who you are. You’re my girl. I love you.” Arthur Conan Doyle, who wrote the Sherlock Holmes novels, said to his wife before his death, “You’re wonderful.”*
Still other people call out to God. One who did was Jesus. Some of his last words formed a prayer. Luke 23:44-46 says, ‘It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.’ (NIV 1984)
People often look at last words for inspiration on how to die well. The words of Jesus certainly do this. But committing our spirit into God’s hand is also a wonderful way to live. Pray and commit yourself to live for him today.
*Chris Higgins, “64 People and Their Famous Last Words,” Mental Floss, February 12, 2016, updated March 2, 2021, https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/58534/64-people-and-their-famous-last-words
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.