You Would Die Friday: Finding Meaning in the Final Days

What if You Knew You Would Die Friday at 3 o’clock notes. What if you knew that you had less than one week to live? How would you act? What if this was your last Sunday? Would you do anything differently? What if You Knew You would Die Friday at 3 o’clock?


By Pastor Delbert Young

What if You Knew You Would Die Friday at 3 o’clock?

What if You Knew You would Die Friday at 3 o'clock notes

Scriptures: Matthew 21:17, Matthew 24:3-4, Luke 19:41-44, Matthew 21:42-44

One more week. Today is Palm Sunday. It was the day that Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem before being crucified the next Friday. One more week to live. Jesus came to Jerusalem knowing he would die the next Friday on the cross. Again and again, Jesus had told his followers of his coming death (Mat 16:21; 17:22; Mar 8:31; Luk 9:22). He knew he would be betrayed, arrested, condemned to death, and pounded onto a cross where he would die for you and me. Knowing that, he willingly and boldly came into Jerusalem where he would die Friday.

He didn’t enter quietly slipping in at dark. He came into Jerusalem via a parade showing he was the long-awaited Savior. Palm branches and articles of clothing were his confetti. People were singing and dancing so exuberantly that the Pharisees asked Jesus to silence his followers. Jesus said, “If these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out” (Luk 19:38-40).

What if you knew that you had less than one more week to live?

What if this was your last Sunday? Would you do anything differently? What if you would never worship with friends and family again? How would you worship? What would you do? What if you knew you would die Friday at 3 o’clock? Some of us would change little if anything. Some of us would actually find peace and find some way to use the time wisely for the kingdom. Others would be terrified and go insane around Wednesday or Thursday. Why would some people respond one way and some another? The answer is simple. Some know Jesus and have done all that Jesus has asked them to do. The others do not know Jesus and are terrified. Where would you find yourself?

I have a book that has some quotes about “Last Words” from some famous, or semi-famous, people. I thought I would share a few of these with us.

A mass murderer named Carl Panzram said, “I wish the human race had one neck and I had my hands on it.”

Oscar Wilde said, “I am dying, as I have lived, beyond my means.”

Dylan Thomas said just before he died, “I had eighteen straight whiskies . . . I think that’s a record.”

“O my God! It is over. I have come to the end of the end, the end. To have only one life, and to have done with it! To have lived, and loved, and triumphed, and now to know it is over! One may defy everything else but this”-Queen Elizabeth I

Thomas Carlyle-“I am as good as without hope… a sad old man gazing into the final chasm.”

Leonard Bernstein, American composer 1990-“What’s this?”

James Dean, a rock-n-roll artist just before his Porsche slammed into a car turning onto the highway-“That guy’s got to stop. He’ll see us.”

Princess Diana, in the Pont de I’Alma tunnel, as recorded in the official police files in Paris-“My God. What’s happened?”

“That’s obvious”-John F. Kennedy, responding to the comment of Mrs. John Connally, the Texas governor’s wife, who had said, “Mr. President, you can’t say that Dallas doesn’t love you.”

“Father forgive them: for they know not what they do.” “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.”-Jesus Christ

What will your last words be? What if you knew you would die Friday?

I thought about the last week and the last words a lot this week.

If I knew Friday I would die, how would I enter this church service today? You know what? I would like to have a parade. Not a parade to honor me, but a parade to honor Jesus. I would love to see every person waving their hands and saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest!” I wished I would need to say, “Okay, okay. Let’s quiet down. We have some more things we want to do.” That’s what I would like.

Should not every Sunday be a parade for Jesus? Should not we anticipate with excitement his entrance into our service and presence? I just can’t find in the Bible where a church should be sad and depressing. The church that Jesus led waved palm branches and sang and danced and shouted. Jesus wanted that and encouraged that response to his entrance even though he knew he would die Friday. If you knew that you would die Friday, would you have acted any differently during the praise and worship service today?

It is interesting how Jesus spent his last five days. I have attempted to sum up in three ‘C’s’ how he lived his last week. Here is what I see. He Celebrated with his friends. He Coached his disciples, and he Confronted the lost. Jesus didn’t change anything that he normally did. However, there does seem to be a higher intensity level in what he did. Let’s look at these three “C’s” for a few minutes.

Celebrated Life with Friends

The life of Jesus was always a celebration. No one can deny that. Jesus viewed life, taught life, and lived life abundantly. He said, “I come to give you life and that more abundantly” (Joh 10:10). That was sort of his motto. He celebrated life. Jesus taught that life is a gift from God. Life is an opportunity to do something meaningful. He did. We should.

Jesus loved being around people. He loved celebrating life with his friends. He had lots of friends. Interestingly he had saved friends, lost friends, and friends making a decision about following him. It would be very similar to our crowd today. Even people far from God enjoyed being around Jesus.

We often read about Jesus being at what the Bible calls feasts. That is the Bible term for a party. There would be lots of food and drink and, what is most important, people. During the last week, Jesus and his friends would get together every evening (except Thursday night) and celebrate life.

Matthew 21:17 And he left them and went out of the city to Bethany, where he spent the night.

Jesus didn’t want to stay in Jerusalem. He “left them.” He left the religious people who really cared little for the people and went to Bethany where his friends lived. I want to say this sweetly. I can’t hang out with anyone any more than I could go to just any church. Some of you are that way. Jesus would rather walk two miles to Bethany than sleep with the Pharisees.

Jesus had many friends in Bethany which was only a few miles from Jerusalem. Simon the leper lived there. Mary, Martha, and Lazarus lived there. It was at Simon the leper’s house during a meal that a woman came and anointed the head of Jesus with perfume for his death. This was at a party.

My point is that Jesus wanted to be celebrating with his friends his last days. He enjoyed the exuberance of a parade and the joy of a party. A lot of people have the idea that being a Christian is dull and boring. May I correct that idea? Being a Christian should be, and is to me, a celebration of life. I don’t have time to be bored. I am always celebrating with my friends.

During the darkest time of the life of Jesus, he wanted to be celebrating with his friends.

I believe that Jesus drew strength from his friends during this time. I draw strength from my friends. Dark times are turned into celebrations for the Christians when we hang with our friends. What about you? Do you have friends with whom you can celebrate life? What do you do in your dark times? If you knew you would die Friday at 3 o’clock, would you spend time celebrating your life with your friends? Jesus did.

Friends, it’s only through Jesus that we experience true, long-lasting relationships. I cannot tell you how much I love my friends and how much I know that my friends love me. If I knew that I would die Friday, I would want to spend as much time as I could with my friends.

Coaching His Disciples

Matthew 24:3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”

Matthew 24:4 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you.

During the day, Jesus would teach and coach his disciples as he prepared them for his leaving. The coaching obviously intensified. Much was accomplished in those last five days with his disciples. There was the lesson of the cursed fig tree and prayer. There was the coaching and preparing them for the end of the age that Jesus said would come upon their generation, and there was the parable of the ten wise and ten foolish virgins. The parable of the sheep and the goats. The disciples learned so much in those last five days. However, the greatest time spent with his disciples was at the Lord’s Supper.

It was there that the New Covenant was explained and instituted by his body and in his blood. It was there that Jesus assured his disciples that his spirit, the Holy Spirit, would always be with the believers. Much of what we believe and experience today was given by the coaching of Jesus those last five days. His coaching was intense and had a profound impact.

Looking at this, I ask, “What impact have I made in the lives of people? Do I have any disciples? Does my life matter to anyone? Have I reproduced myself for the sake of the kingdom? Is there anyone I coach so they will have a better life and continue on what I have been able to give? If I knew I would die Friday, would anyone want to hear what I had to say?”

Friends, it’s only through Jesus life really matters. It’s only by Jesus we truly touch people in an eternal way. It’s only by Jesus that we can correctly coach our families and those in our lives.

Confronted the Lost

Much of what we are told about Jesus during his last five days concerns his final attempt to reach the lost. Jesus became intensely confrontational with the lost. His heart broke for them that day and continues to break for people today.

Luke 19:41-44

41 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it

42 and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace – but now it is hidden from your eyes.

43 The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side.

44 They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.

His heart broke because he knew that destruction awaited the lost. That destruction would be because they missed the time that God came to them and offered them salvation and peace. However, they rejected Jesus. The Roman armies sieged Jerusalem and leveled the city in A.D. 70. Exactly what Jesus said would happen did happen. Not one stone of the temple stood upon another. The children of those who rejected Jesus were killed. Jesus saw that coming.

Friend, he can see what is coming in your life. He can see the destruction that each of us will experience if we miss the day that God comes to us offering us peace.

Jesus went to the temple every day during his last week. In a feverish last-minute effort, Jesus tried to reach the lost. He nearly begged them to believe that he was the Christ and avoid destruction. He answered all their questions. “Should we pay taxes?” “How does God feel about divorce?” In parable after parable, he explained to them what was about to happen to Jerusalem and the people. He said if they rejected and killed him, the kingdom would be taken from them and it would be like a huge cornerstone coming and crushing them to powder.

Matthew 21:42-44

42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: “‘The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?

43 “Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.

44 He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed.

Jesus quoted from Psalm 118. Still, they rejected him. The heart of Jesus was broken because he knew that would happen to those people. They rejected him and it did happen. They were crushed in A.D. 70. Do you know people like that? It seems that Jesus has tried in every possible way to save them, but they continue to reject him. Their lives are being crushed by the enemy. Nothing goes right for them. They are miserable and unhappy and constantly crushed about something. All they need to do is turn to Jesus.

Jesus is confronting some here today. Some have never received Jesus. Can I tell you things will never go well with you until you fix that? You will always have a void and problem after problem until Jesus becomes your savior. Or, he could be confronting you because you have gotten away from Jesus. He wants you back. Jesus told a parable about a precious sheep that wandered away. He left the 99 and went searching and searching for the one lost sheep. He is asking you today to come back to the flock. See, he wants to pick you up and put you on his big shoulders and rejoice with you.

What would we do today if we knew we would die Friday? Would we intensify our attempt to reach the lost? Would we celebrate with our friends, and would we coach our disciples? That is what Jesus did. Let’s pray.

What if You Knew You Would Die Friday at 3 o’clock notes

What if You Knew You would Die Friday at 3 o'clock notes

What if You Knew You Would Die Friday at 3 o’clock notes

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