Many last words are meaningful and memorable and often great effort is made to catch the final sayings of loved ones before they depart this life. In the Scriptures we have many such examples as in Genesis chapter 49 where the patriarch Jacob gathered his sons around him on the very day he died and gave that great prophetic address before “he gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost” Gen.49.33.
In the New Testament we often reflect on the last words of the apostle Paul, as recorded in 2Timothy, charged with all the reality of a man who knew that death was imminent. In a short time he would face the executioner’s sword, knowing that the time of his departure was at hand. Who can forget the final words of the first martyr of the Church, Stephen: “‘Lay not this sin to their charge.’ And when he had said this, he fell asleep” Acts 7.60?
None, however, can compare with the Lord Jesus; He had “the tongue of the learned” and He knew “how to speak a word in season to him that is weary” Isa.50.4. Every syllable was significant, every word weighty, every phrase potent. He never spoke just to break an embarrassing silence; His words were always spoken with the purest of motives and the best of intentions. His words were light-bearing and life-bringing; they brought comfort to the despondent, hope to the despairing and pardon to the guilty. His were the mighty, commanding words that spoke worlds into existence and His the tender “Fear nots” that calmed the fears of troubled disciples. Among His last words is the precious promise of His abiding presence, “… lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world” Matt.28.20.
We acknowledge again, with deep gratitude, the contributions of all the authors who have sacrificially devoted time and effort to ensure that this eleventh book in the ‘Glory’ series should be interesting, informative and profitable to all who read it. May the Lord bless its contents, may His people be edified and our greatest desire is that God might be glorified.