What does it mean to die well?
We all must die, but will we die well? What does that mean and how can we prepare to die well? We can learn from biblical examples in today’s reading.
Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you, and I will instruct you in the good and the right way. I Samuel 12:23
And he said to them, “Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I finish my course.’” Luke 13:32
There is a point in the life of every person that his time on earth comes to an end. Both Jesus and Samuel were looking at that point in their lives in today’s readings. We can learn something about the art of dying well from both of these passages.
In what the ESV Bible calls “Samuel’s Farewell Address,” the prophet closes with the words above. He promises to pray for the people of Israel and to instruct them in the good and right way. This is a fitting summary of the work of all those called to shepherd God’s people: prayer and the ministry of the word (Acts 6:4). For Samuel, dying well means continuing to pray for God’s people and to teach them about godly living until his last breath.
Jesus’ ministry was characterized by teaching and prayer. In verse 22 we read, “He went on his way through towns and villages, teaching and journeying toward Jerusalem.” Luke frequently reports on Jesus’ prayer life (Luke 5:16; 9:18, 28-29;11:1;22:32,39-46) . The Lord is aware that He is about to finish His course. Meanwhile, He teaches His way to Jerusalem where He will be crucified and made an offering for the sins of His people.
Think about it
As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are called to follow in His steps (1 Peter 2:21). That would certainly mean a life of prayer, obedience to God’s word, and selfless service to others. If that is the best way to live, it is also the best way to die. Make every effort to live faithfully and practice a lifestyle worthy of maintaining until your final day. Seek to die well.