It is human nature to like or enjoy getting the last word.
We’ve been heavily influenced by media and romanticism that whether or not it is through texting, phone calls, or face to face arguments, getting the last word can be advantageous to the relationship.
Our ideas perhaps go like this . . .
One of the two parties involed issues a retort that is powerful, solid factually, and unable to be argued against. After he/she utters the profound retort, they leave in a significant manner. The one left behind muses over the words, then realizes how wrong he/she was. He/she leaves, seeking reunification. When the two reunite, one confesses and apologizes, the other accepts, and all will be well.
Rarely in real life does “getting the last word” work out that way.
Often times, actually, (coming from someone who does have a tendency to desire the last word), getting the last word is anything but advantageous. It shows agenda, a quest for power/control, and is many times hurtful and extremely damaging to relationships. It erodes feelings of trust and good faith.
There was an ultimate quest for power/control during the time of Jesus’ crucifixion and ultimate resurrection.
The government was trying desperately to contain and constrain the power of his following. They were threatened by the manner in which his radical love changed things.
The last word we hear from Pilate in the telling of the crucifixion/resurrection story in Matthew is, “Go make the tomb as secure as you can.”
Those were the worst words the powers of evil, injustice, suffering and death could speak. The words vehemently implied that Rome was in charge. Not God. Not Love. Their hope was to silence Jesus’ subversive teachings and completely put a stop to the disruptive movement he created.
Those words – “Make it secure” – were intended to be the last words.
But God had a different idea.
God gets the last word with the sound of an earthquake.
In Matthew, there is an angel present at the tomb. The angel says, “Go tell the disciples .
. . he has been raised from the dead.”
In the words of James Harnish, author of Easter Earthquake, “One set of last words
commands the power of death, the other announces the power of new life. Pilate plays Taps and the angel plays Reveille.
We get to choose which last words we heed.
Are we going to allow the last words of injustice, judgment, and anger to rule our lives? Or are we going to allow the freedom of new life to create us anew?
Where do you need some last words in your life today?
This is one instance that the last words have a power to bring new life to past hurts and disappointments.
“Go find the risen Christ!” are last words that create new life and renewed faith. May we claim those last words today.
“God makes his people strong.
God gives his people peace.” Psalm 29:11