You have been in trouble with the law before, but you do not believe yourself to be a trouble maker in any way, except that you have chosen to speak the inconvenient truth about the wrongs you see perpetrated. You live in a country where the political situation is such that anyone who refuses to give total accent to the leadership is considered a threat.
You are accused of being a traitor to the cause, and now the sentence is looming.
“Death to the traitor!!” chants the crowd in the courtroom. Apparently the judge disagrees, but politically speaking, he is in a bind. He feels the pressure from the crowd, and he will face his superiors if he doesn’t deliver. You know the leadership also wants you silent. . . . silent forever.
The gavel sounds, “Sentenced to die . . . within twenty four hours . . .” he says more, but you hear nothing else.
The deafening cheers of the crowd have little impact on you, but you do hear, even in the numb state of mind, the silent sobs of your family seated right behind you. Your mother’s broken heart is tougher to bear than the death sentence. Thankfully you do not have a wife and children you leave behind, but you do have friends and younger siblings sitting beside your widowed mother. You love them all, and . . . now, in a few hours . . .
The judge allows you to have a few hours before the execution to put your affairs in order. You know you have less than twenty four hours left before the sentence is carried out. What do you wish to do with that time? You can choose to spend those precious few hours crying and feeling sorry for yourself but you know that will be a waste. you also have the peace that it is your time to accept your fate. No more praying for a miraculous release as you had received before.
It is time to gather your wits, and put things in order. Since the judge has graciously allowed you to see your family and friends in relative privacy, you now must get to work giving instructions on what to do with your remains. You need to tell mother about the savings, the money you have set away for her provision and your younger siblings. You also ask your best friend to look after your family. There is not much time for tears at this point. Only the most important things can be dealt with and quickly. Sorrow can be managed later.
You comfort them, but get on with business of assuring them of your love, and care. No time to recall sweet memories of years gone by, but instructions on what they must do when they no longer have you.
What instructions do you give? It has to be the most important stuff, right? But what is most important to you??
I know the above scenario is grossly morbid and thankfully not likely to happen to 99.9999999% of us, but no matter what the scenario be, if you have only a few hours before you leave this planet forever, what would you do with that time?
Before you answer, consider this: Jesus faced a very similar situation. only in His case He knew the outcome before the arrest and subsequent sham trials that He faced in that one night. In fact he knew so well that His time for the death sentence had come, that He sent Judas to go set things in motion. So, before the arrest, He had just a few hours to set His affairs in order. Only the most important things.
The most important lesson Jesus gave in this hour was on humility! He washed the feet of all His disciples, demonstrating the importance of giving deference to each other. He was their master, their teacher. They understood that He was the Son of the Most High God, yet He instructed by example the lesson of humility and love.
John 13: 3 Jesus knew that the Father had delivered all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was returning to God. 4 So He got up from the supper, laid aside His outer garments, and wrapped a towel around His waist. 5 After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and dry them with the towel that was around Him. . . . 12 When Jesus had washed their feet and put on His outer garments, He reclined with them again and asked, “Do you know what I have done for you? 13 You call Me Teacher and Lord, and rightly so, because I am. 14 So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example so that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Truly, truly, I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
He encouraged them in the blessed hope of His return for them in the Rapture:
John 14:1 Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe in Me as well. 2 In My Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and welcome you into My presence, so that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”
Over the course of His last supper with His followers He instructed them on the blessings of obedience. He told them how their obedience releases for them the power of God. The instruction was to remain in Him so that they would reap the benefits of son-ship. That whatever they ask the Father in His name He would give it. He also promises to send them the Holy Spirit who comes to dwell in us even today.
John 14: 15 If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate to be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot receive Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you do know Him, for He abides with you and will be in you.
This is all recorded for you in Chapters 13-16 in the Gospel of John.
Jesus closed with a prayer for all His followers (which includes you and me) in John 17 that is worth reading and re-reading. Meditate on it! I do!
Now if Jesus in His last hours before the most gruesome death on the cross spent His time with His loved ones giving these instructions, how important are these to us today?
Then I ask myself this question: Can I live my “everyday” as though it was my last, and remember the things that really matter? And, what are the things that really matter?? What will I leave behind? What will my loved ones remember me for? Will I leave much of temporal value, or of eternal value?
Hmm . . . ?!
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