Who Has the Last Word?


The Messiah, Jesus Christ, came to earth to save humans from eternity with the evil one and
his angels, and we killed him. It’s hard to own up to it, that we loved our sins enough to murder
the only One who could save us from them. “For if you do not believe that I AM, you will die in your
sins.” (John 8:24)

After Cain killed Abel, he disputed his offering with God. Abel’s offering was a sacrificed lamb; Cain’s was an offering from his crops. Abel’s offering was prophetical. Jesus, the Lamb of God died for our sins. There was sorrow for the animal’s death, a consciousness of the price of atonement – humbling before his God whom Abel needed to spare his life in place of the lamb’s. Cain’s offering lacked repentance. In jealousy for Abel’s acceptance and his rejection, he murdered Abel. The
unrighteous slew the righteous, as is commonly reported worldwide today.

Death isn’t final. Getting rid of Abel didn’t solve Cain’s problem. Abel will be there at Cain’s final judgment, attesting to his Cain’s guilt. God’s last word to Cain follows. Not words we want to hear: Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.’ (Matthew 25:41)

We may want the last word in an argument, and get it, but that story isn’t over. “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will render an account for every careless word they speak. By your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned. (Matthew 12:36-37) It wasn’t over for Pontius Pilate after his last word to Jesus. The One he ordered to be crucified, rose on the third day. God’s last word on death is Jesus’ resurrection – and ours. Pilate couldn’t anticipate that or
prevent it – nor can he prevent their next meeting when the situation is reversed.

When all have spoken in the courtroom, the judge has the last word. He or she has that power – final authority. On a planet careening toward judgment, how casually humans dismiss the One with final authority. They are not ready to bow. But, for faithful believers, the final word need not be feared. We can influence what we shall hear from the Final Authority. His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.’ (Matthew 25:23) That last word counts forever. Let’s be certain that’s what we shall hear.

John Pisula, Grand Knight: [email protected]
Joe Cox, Council Lecturer: [email protected]

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