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Saturday, April 03, 2010

IT IS FINISHED



In every role I perform I am well aware how difficult it is to get anything finished. As a housewife, I know my housework is never done. Do I hear an Amen, ladies? As a mother, I continue to mother my children even though they are all adults. As an employee, I leave work every evening knowing that I'm coming back to more of the same the next day, and as a writer, I can re-write until I no longer recognize my own words, but I know the work is never really finished.

However, Jesus' last words on the cross were "IT IS FINISHED!" (John 19: 30). What did He mean by those words? And what was finished? Jesus had been on this earth for thirty three years, but only the last three of those years were spent in actual ministry. During that time, He performed many miracles, cultivated many followers, as well as enemies, and taught multitudes of people about the kingdom of God. But the purpose for which He came to earth – the redemption of Adam's fallen race – was not accomplished until He hung on that cross.

And the reason it was accomplished was because God "so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). When Jesus cried "It is finished", He had completed all the work the Father had sent Him to do. He said, "My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work" (John 4: 34). So let's look at His record: He fulfilled every prophecy, gave us access into the Holiest of Holies so we could come directly into God's presence, secured our redemption, laid the foundation for the establishment of the New Testament church, set us free from the sting of death, hell and the grave and paved the way for the Holy Spirit to come into the world. He left nothing undone.

But work is always difficult, and Jesus' work, ending with death on the cross, may have been the most difficult of all. But the Bible says, "he became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross" (Phil. 2:8). The excruciating pain of crucifixion was bad enough, but before that, Jesus had to suffer the agony of Gethsemane – the place where the burden of what He was going through became so unbearable, the Bible says his sweat became "as drops of blood" (Luke 22:44).

You may be going through your own Gethsemane right now, and, like Jesus your friends may have deserted you. Your burden seems too great for you to bear. The enemy keeps bringing up your past sins, past mistakes, past failures. He taunts you and makes you think you will never come out of your situation, but he is a liar and the father of lies. However, because of what Jesus did on the cross, you can shout "IT IS FINISHED!" Your hurts, disappointments, failures are nailed to the cross with Christ, your Redeemer. Gethsemane is behind you; Good Friday is over, Easter has come. The dawn of a new day awaits you. Shout for joy and give Him praise. Halleluiah!

Happy Easter

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