My family is in the middle of a move, so we are finding ourselves doing
things and going places and saying, "This will be the last time we will
ever do this."
* We went to the beach for the last time.
* I preached for the last time.
* I wrote my last bulletin article. We visited our neighbors for the last time.
* We ate with friends for the last time.
We are hoping to do several things one more time.
* We would like to make it to our favorite Mexican restaurant one more time.
* We would like to visit our favorite park one more time.
* We want to take a walk through our neighborhood one more time.
* If we have a chance we will probably stop by our favorite ice cream shop for a milk shake one more time.
* I would like to play a round of golf with my friends one more time.
Add to all the things already mentioned, there are all the people we
are seeing for what may be the last time.
When we do something for what may be the last time, we tend to view it
differently. We want to make a mental photograph that will never fade.
We want to listen to every word. We want to hold on to every image and
every comment and every relationship. Events that never really seemed
significant, suddenly take on a whole new meaning. We fear that food
will never taste so good, skies will never be so blue, winds will never
be as fresh, or love will be as real.
I wonder if Jesus felt any of those things as He
approached the cross. Do you suppose that when He walked through His
streets a few days before His death that He spoke to people and
thought, "I will never do this again." Or, do you suppose that when He
visited the synagogue He thought about how he might be doing it for the
last time? I like to imagine that He did think those thoughts and feel
those things, but I really don't know for sure one way or the other.
I do know one thing, for sure: When Jesus finished His walk through the
streets, reached the place of the skull, breathed His last breath on
the cross, and came out of the grave three days later, His message for
us was: "This the last time anyone will ever need to be afraid of
death. This is the last time you will need to mourn without hope at the
death of a believer. This is the last time you will have to wonder what
will happen to you. From now on you can rest in peace because of the
sacrifice that was given for the last time."
Doing things for the last time is an emotionally draining and a
physically tiring experience. On the other hand, unless we do some
things for the last time, then we cannot do other things for the first
time. Since we have been afraid of death for the last time, we can
approach life with joy, hope, and excitement -- maybe for the first
time. Because we have said "Good-bye!" to sin for the last time means we
can say hello to newness of life for the first time.
As the Norvell family goes through the process of moving to a new
location, we are doing many things for the last time, and the tears
flow. But, in a few days, we will begin doing many other things for the
first time, and the tears will flow.
Enjoy the day, even if it is for the last time, and make the most of it.