It is Finished (15-04-22)
Bible Reading: Mark 15:33-36, John 19:30
At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon.
And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?" (which means "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?").
When some of those standing near heard this, they said, "Listen, he's calling Elijah."
Someone ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink.
When he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished."
With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Pain, whether it is physical, emotional or spiritual, is debilitating. Thankfully today, with the advances in medicine, with the recognition of PTSD and with the understanding of the importance of ‘Wellbeing’ we can go a long way to alleviating a lot of the pain of suffering.
With all these advances in care, it is shocking at times to hear about the horrors that some people consciously inflict on others, and crucifixion must be one of the most horrendous forms of execution imagined. For Jesus this included the physical pain of crucifixion. It included the emotional pain of being betrayed and deserted by his closest friends. It included the spiritual pain in his perception of being forsaken by his Heavenly Father as he bore the weight of our sin on his shoulders.
I wonder which of these pains was the worst for Jesus.
And yet he endured it for you and for me and, at the end of this ordeal, at three in the afternoon, Jesus cried out, ‘It is finished.’
Hanging there as he was, alone and in pain, a cry of, ‘I am finished’ might have seemed more likely. But this was not a cry of defeat, it was a cry of victory. Out of the jaws of death itself Jesus had snatched victory, and ‘It is finished’ marked the culmination of God’s salvation plan for the whole of creation.
It is finished, because there is nothing more that needs to be done to pay the price of our sin.
It is finished, because it is by his stripes, the lashes he received, that we are healed.
It is finished, because the curtain of the temple has been torn in two and we have access to God.
It is finished, because death is not the end, for in Christ we have eternal life.
In the turmoil of Good Friday, Jesus was unable to stand back and admire his handiwork, as we might do if we had successfully completed a major project. And the world was, as yet, completely unaware of all that had been accomplished. But all that would begin to change in a few days’ time when Jesus is revealed in his resurrection glory. Until then only Jesus and his Father knew the amazing truth that ‘It is finished’.
Lord Jesus, thank you for all that you did for me on the cross.
Help me to live in the reality that it is indeed finished.
How deep the Father’s love