This coming Friday marks the observance of Christ’s crucifixion, an event which is likely the most famous death in history.

It’s often said that you can tell a lot about a person’s life by the way they behave at their death. For followers of Christ, his last words – “It is finished” and “Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit” – signify a life lived to accomplish God’s plan of redemption for sinful man.

Many other famous individuals have also depicted their life’s work in their dying words, including the following:

1. John Adams (American Founder and President): “Oh, yes; it is the glorious Fourth of July. It is a great day. It is a good day. God bless it. God bless you all. Thomas Jefferson…”

2. P.T. Barnum (American entertainer): “How were the receipts today at Madison Square Garden?”

3. Jack Daniel (Whiskey distiller): “One last drink, please.”

4. Nathan Hale (American Revolution patriot): “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.”

5. Adolph Hitler (German Leader): “Above all, I charge the leadership of the nation and their followers with the strict observance of the racial laws and with merciless resistance against the universal poisoners of all peoples, international Jewry.”

6. Benedict Arnold (American traitor): “Let me die in the old uniform in which I fought my battles for freedom, May God forgive me for putting on another.”

7. Robert E. Lee (Civil War General): “Strike the tent.”

8. Vic Morrow (Actor): “I should have asked for a stunt double!”

9. Marcus Tullius Cicero (Roman philosopher): “There is nothing proper about what you are doing, soldier, but do try to kill me properly.”

10. Michael Faraday (Scientist): “I shall be with Christ, and that is enough.”

11. Karl Marx (Philosopher): “Go on, get out! Last words are for fools who haven’t said enough!”

Death is never a popular subject, but its inevitability makes it a topic we all must face sometime. When it comes time to give your last words, will they reflect a life which others can say was well-lived and worthwhile?

Image Credit: Stearns, Public Domain