Friday, April 22, 2011
~ "It is finished..."
When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, "It is finished": and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. (John 19:30)
One might think that in that moment, all time stood still. On the contrary; at that moment we know that a centurion standing there acknowledge that He must truly be the Son of God; the curtain in the temple was torn in two; the earth quaked and the sky drew dark. Then came the task of laying his body to rest before sundown for the Sabbath (which tells us most specifically that Jesus died on a Friday).
For Jesus, it was finished. He had become the sacrifice for us all. His redeeming blood that was poured out for us, lie at the foot of that cross on Calvary. They took His body away and laid it in a borrowed tomb. They said their "goodbyes" and left weeping. There were guards placed around His grave - not out of respect for who He was, but out of fear that His disciples would steal His corpse and proclaim His resurrection.
The work of His disciples was just beginning. Your work is just beginning. If you have chosen to follow Christ, you are His disciple. You will continue to learn and continue to teach and share with others the power and the beauty of the cross. What took place on that hill so many centuries ago completed the covenant God had made with all people (not just the Israelites). The opportunity to walk with the Lord is one of honor and joy. It is not, by any means, an easy life. It is full of potholes and detours. There are temptations that fall in front of you every day. There is an enemy at work that seeks to destroy you. He doesn't give up.
If you need strength to get through - look to the cross. If you feel you don't have what it takes to follow - look to the cross. If you fear giving up everything you believe to be true because something is tugging at you - look to the cross. No matter what comes across your path today (and everyday) - look to the cross. It is there that you will find the answers to the questions. It is there that the truth is!
Jesus died on that hill for you. He died there for me. Let today be a day of fasting and prayer for what was so freely given. Let today be small "token of appreciation" for the man who was buried with our sins. Let today reflect the love He carries for all of us. Let the salvation delivered on that day, fill your heart and soul with joy and love. Let His blood wash over you and let him carry your sins away.