For the last week of our forty days together, we’ll be hearing from some other voices in our church. Today’s entry comes from Senior Pastor Kevin Flowers.
Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
JOHN 19:28-30 (NIV)
If you have ever been in the presence of someone you love as they drew their final breath on this earth, you know that it is a moment you will never forget. There is something about the experience that heightens our senses to the point that we become keenly aware of everything that is happening in us and around us. Even the smallest of details have a way of making a permanent impression. In such a setting last words easily become lasting words.
Can you imagine the impact of such a moment for those that had gathered on a hill called Golgotha the day Jesus hung dying on a cross, struggling for his every breath? John, one of Jesus’ closest disciples who was there, who took in all the sights and sounds, along with the stench of death, recorded Jesus’ last words from the cross.
With his dying breath Jesus spoke the words, “It is finished.” Three words for us, but in the Greek language of the New Testament, a language geared to say a lot in as little as possible, only one word was used.
The word may seem a bit complicated, but the meaning is clear. “It is finished” signified that the work of Christ on our behalf was now complete. “It is finished” meant that the sacrifice for sin had been paid once for all. “It is finished” shouted that a path to God was now available; last words that will forever resonate throughout the halls of history as lasting words. The implication being, if you are looking for God you no longer have to try to find him in rules and laws. You can lay aside your efforts to be good enough, or right enough. He was here. He lived. He died. Our sin debt has been paid.
Today we bow before our Savior in humility, and with thanksgiving celebrate what makes this Friday so good. “It is finished!"
Jesus, thank you that your words are true and final, that they can never be unsaid and will never be taken back. Show me today the power of your finality. Send your Spirit to remind me in my struggle and my pain that you have carried all this for me into victory, that because you bore the cross and rose again, death has no power over me. Thank you for freedom and for joy. Thank you that yoru life is mine and that now my life can be yours. AMEN.
Let Jesus’ final words echo in your heart today. Where frustrations rise or fears grow, remind yourself that “It is finished.” Rest in the completed work of the cross and the Savior who died and rose for you.