Friday, April 06, 2007

The Sixth Word

“It is finished.”(John 19:30)

What is finished? Jesus' suffering, the bearing of our sins, but also the work that God sent Jesus to complete. “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to complete his work.” (Jn 4:34)

“But I have a testimony greater than John’s. The works that the Father has given me to complete, the very works that I am doing, testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me.” (Jn 5:36)

What was the work that Jesus needed to complete? We see the answer throughout the book of John. He revealed the glory of the Father (1:14, 18); taught and exemplified the truth of God (1:14; 8:31-32; 14:6); performed miracles that led people to believe in Him (John 2:11); he loved the disciples and gave them example that they should follow (13:34-35; 15:12-13); and he died for all. “And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him” (3:14-17)

Because Christ completed the work that God gave him to do, we are forgiven. We are made whole.

Prayer of Reflection

I wonder, Lord Jesus, how you said these words, "It is finished."

I expect that, in part, You spoke in exhausted relief, sensing that Your body was about to expire. Your time of torture had almost ended. In moments Your pain would be over, finished.

Yet, I expect You also spoke with the same resolution that carried You from the Garden to the cross. You knew what the Father had called You to do, and You did it in obedience to Him. Now You had finished Your task. It, the grand work of redemption, the master plan established before the creation of the world, this was completed. You, and You alone had the ability to break the power of sin, and You did it. This work, God's amazing work of salvation, was finished.

There is no way I can fully grasp what "It is finished" meant to You, Lord. But I can feel relieved for You that Your suffering is over. And I can be astounded by Your faithful obedience. Most of all, I can marvel with gratitude over what You did on the cross. Because You finished that work, dear Jesus, my life has begun.

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