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Thursday, February 28, 2013

7:45 PM

John 19:30 - "When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, 'It is Finished.' and He bowed His head and gave up His Spirit."


Finished.  The word can conjure up all kinds of thoughts within us can't it.  It can make us feel prideful, "I have finished the job."  It is an expression of tiredness, "I'm finished."  It is an expression of defeat, "it's finished, it's over."  It can be a word that we use as a question, "finished?"   It invokes all kinds of thoughts within us.

Jesus said in John 19:30, "it is finished."  I'm sure that the Roman soldiers who were around Him viewed it as a cry of defeat.  He's giving up, He's giving in.  If Mary and "the disciple whom Jesus loved" could hear Him, they probably assumed He was tired and the He was saying that His life was almost over.  The crowd might have thought He was referring to the crucifixion and the event itself being over and finished.

But He didn't mean those things, instead it was a cry of victory, not a cry of defeat.  Yes the act of crucifixion was almost over.  His time on the cross was almost finished but the legacy and the calling of the cross live on, even today.  His time on the cross was over but more importantly the work that God, the Father had asked Him to do was finished. Salvation was now available through the grace of God, and the way of salvation  was completed. 

There is something satisfying about completing something isn't there.  When we finish a big project or even something as simple as mowing the yard, we are glad it is finished, we are glad the task is completed.

Jesus rejoiced to that the task was complete.   For the joy set before Him, He endured the shame of the cross.  And now the task was complete.  So He whispered "it is finished."  Certainly it could have been taken as a statement of defeat because He was so weak He could hardly speak.  He was in essence on the cross suffocating in His own blood as He endured unspeakable pain.  Yes He was God but He was also fully man, and He fully felt and dealt with all the pain.  So it might have sounded like a cry of I'm crushed and I'm defeated,  I'm finished, but it wasn't.  "It is finished" was Jesus' whispered shout of victory. 

God had taken the worst event in human history in and made something amazingly good come out of it, and now that was finished.  For the thief on the cross beside of Jesus today started out as absolutely the worst day of his life and it ended up his very best. 

His day was "finished" as well wasn't it? But his life wasn't, no in fact his life was just beginning.  God had "finished" the work of salvation within him.  Jesus "finished" his salvation on the cross. 

Charles Spurgeon once said, "the work of the Lord is perfect.  It begins where we are and asks nothing of us for its completion."  God's work found the thief on the cross, and God completed His work within that thief, and because of that, that nameless thief went "to paradise."  What did he do for his salvation? Nothing! He did nothing to contribute to God's work, He just accepted it, and he was saved.  His life was complete.

His day went from the worst to the best ever.  He was truly changed.  He was saved, he was complete.  He was "finished", and he inherited God's gift of eternal life.  Jesus victoriously said, "it is finished," and he completed the thief's salvation.  Jesus victoriously said, "it is finished," and he completed our salvation as well.  The way of salvation is now complete, to God be the glory.