While Jesus speaks “seven last words” while on the cross, it is not the final time he speaks in the Bible.
Jesus speaks again in the book of Revelation, where he appears to St. John in a vision.
St. John confirms that all he wrote down was from God, “The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to him, to show his servants what must happen soon. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who gives witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ by reporting what he saw” (Revelation 1:1-2).
What follows throughout the rest of the book can be confusing, but many commentators see in it a description of the heavenly Jerusalem as well as the second coming of Jesus Christ.
In this context Jesus’ last words are a promise to us of his second coming.
Jesus’ last words
The Catechismof the Catholic Church affirms this teaching of Christ’s imminent return, explaining, “Since the Ascension Christ’s coming in glory has been imminent … This eschatological coming could be accomplished at any moment, even if both it and the final trial that will precede it are ‘delayed’” (CCC 673).
None of us know the exact time and day that Jesus will come again, but only that it will happen, “soon.”
This means that we need to be prepared for Jesus’ second coming and try as best as we can to live in the present moment, using our precious time fruitfully.
It’s possible that we may die before Jesus comes in glory on earth, but in that case, Jesus’ words are still true.
Jesus will come soon, whether it be at the hour of our death, or at the end of the world. In either case, we need to be ready for him, as a bride is prepared for her bridegroom.