Devotions for Holy Week
From First Assembly of God, Brookfield, CT
Friday, April 2nd, 2010
The 6th Saying of Jesus on the Cross
“So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished!" And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.” (John 19:30)
I shared during Super Bowl season that this exclamation was more like a football player’s exclamation of victory when he scores a touchdown than the weak mumblings that we normally see in movies or plays about the crucifixion. Perhaps Jesus did just barely get these words out before he died. He had been through one of the worst tortures a person could endure. But in spirit, His words were some of the most triumphant ever spoken.
Much has been written on the Greek word “tetelestai.” This is the word from which we get our phrase “it is finished”. According to John it is the last word that Jesus speaks before facing the ultimate in human experience: death.
Death is an experience that we all face and most people spend most of their life fearing or ignoring. For those that follow the only man who faced death and won, no fear exists and ignoring it is not necessary since it is not the end. Jesus lived the ultimate human experience. He even faced the end of life as we all must one day do.
The word that Jesus chose to communicate how He felt about His life on earth was one of absolute completion. It was used by gladiators when they won a fight, it was stamped on legal documents when a debt was paid, it was tacked on jail cells when a prisoner had finished his sentence. At the end of His life, Jesus was able to say that he had done all He had set out to do. That it was done … forever.
How many of us could say the same thing? Looking back on our lives as we face death who among us could say that we accomplished all that we had set out to do? All that we had been meant to do? An even more challenging thought; the word Jesus used to describe His life carried with it a sense of continuing effect. The job Jesus accomplished had eternal ongoing effects. It could not be undone. What He did would send ripple effects through all of time.
Who among us can say the same thing? Who can say at the end of their life that they have done all they were meant to do or what they have done will have continual effects?
The answer is all of us. A life lived in dedication to Jesus allows us to look back on our own lives and say, “it is finished, because of what He has done”.
A Native American proverb states “you truly live when you live the life the Creator intended you for” as our Bible tells us “only that done for Christ will last”. The souls we save for Christ will last forever. The things we do for His kingdom will have eternal effects. Anything not done for Christ will one day be forgotten but that which is done for Him allows us to truly know “it is finished”.
Pastor Sean Cooper