Friday, June 30, 2017

Words From the Cross: It Is Finished

Chuckle: "You are wonderfully mature when you and your teeth no longer sleep together!"
Quote: “The Cross is a tree set on fire with invisible flame, that illumineth all the world. The flame is love.” --Thomas Traherne

A jar of wine (vinegar) was setting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips. When Jesus had tasted it, he said, "It is finished" (John 19:29-30 NLT).
Today, we see the completion of God's redemptive plan. Until this time, a complicated system of sacrifices had atoned for sins. From the time of Adam and Eve, people have been separated from God by sin, and only blood sacrifices could bring forgiveness. Jesus, however, became the ultimate, final, and once for all sacrifice by his shed blood on the cross. The word "finished' means "paid in full." God's purpose for sending His one and only Son, was to finish God's work of redemption and salvation -- to pay the penalty for your sins and mine.
At least twice in Jesus' ministry, he proclaimed victory. One was at the beginning of his ministry and the other at the close. You will recall when he finished Satan's third temptation in the wilderness, he shouted, "Get thee behind me, Satan!" (Matthew 4:10 KJV), declaring victory over Satan's temptations. Now at the close of his ministry, he cried out in final victory, "It is finished!"
The first shout of victory followed forty days of hunger and temptation. The last followed many hours of anguish and excruciating suffering. No pressure was great enough to cause Jesus to divert from being God's suffering servant and sin bearer for the world. Even at our best, we are weaklings and often lose our resolve and direction, but Jesus was different! He never fumbled, mumbled, stumbled, or grumbled. He kept His eye on the Father and His purpose. He would not turn back. He was determined to finish His task which the Father had given Him. His cry of victory, "It is finished!" reveals three truths worth taking to heart.
First, Jesus has completed his suffering on our behalf. The suffering of Jesus was in full accordance with God's eternal plan and purpose. He bore on His body all that you and I deserve to suffer for our sins throughout eternity. This truth is too profound for us to fully comprehend! Jesus' suffering did not begin on Calvary; he was dogged by the Pharisees and Sadducees who made His life miserable by finding fault with everything He did. He was persecuted at ever stage in his ministry. But His greatest suffering came in Gethsemane and on the Cross: (1) He was beaten with thongs laced with pieces of bone or lead; (2) A crown of thorns was placed on His head and a purple robe put on Him; (3) He was nailed to the wooden cross. The price was paid.
Second, the prophecies of Jesus' life and death have been fulfilled. From the Garden of Eden through the last chapter of the last book of the OT, we have the "Messianic Strain." Every book makes Jesus known and presents a "drama of redemption." Every one has something to say about God's eternal purpose in the world. They predict the coming of Jesus and His death, burial, and resurrection. God's purpose was not to be thwarted. Every prophecy, every ceremony, and every ritual concerning the Savior's death for our sin were fulfilled.
Third, God's plan for our salvation has been finished. All that was necessary to atone for humankind's sin has now been accomplished. Of course, the glorious resurrection had to follow, but the price had been paid. The Father raised up the Son -- the Son paid the price. Jesus had completed the work God sent Him to do. It was finished! Praise!!
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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