3 crosses, grey sky

Dying with dignity. This is how some justify their decision to live – and die – on their own terms.

A final grasp at control, in choosing the date and time for their death, they orchestrate whatever time remains into the most glorious symphony of life. Planning for the end gives us a precise timeline. Forget the mundane behaviors of work, study, and mindless entertainments. Instead, we cram in pleasurable thrills that hopefully satisfy our human desires.

Jesus lived and died on His own terms, too. Except that His terms had nothing to do with Himself. If He was focused on Himself, He never would’ve left heaven, opting for the biggest demotion ever experienced in the world. Based on how He lived, Jesus’ terms for His life seemed to be this:

Love them.
Save them.

In the grueling hours before His death, Jesus never resigned. He didn’t stop loving us in order to conserve energy to keep His heart pumping and His brain functioning.

Jesus lived wholeheartedly, even while dying in our place. He forgave those who hurt Him, no strings attached. And He continued to love and reassure others while He still had breath.

Hanging between two legitimate criminals that Friday, one asked Jesus for mercy as he accepted his fate. Jesus didn’t let the request go unanswered, telling him to wait until the second coming to find out. Jesus lovingly, gracefully responded saying:

I assure you today you will be with me in paradise. Luke 23:43 (NLT) 

Are we living with a dignity that honors God? Living a wholehearted, full life should not be reserved as a bucket list for ‘someday’.

Encourage someone with hope today.

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As the Easter season approaches, we’re exploring the seven last sayings of Jesus. This series is designed to help us reflect on our choices and our commitment to living as followers of Christ. Are you able to say these statements with sincerity?

© 2018 Henderson Highway Seventh-day Adventist Church

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