My husband delivered a few meditations at our Good Friday service yesterday, and as I sat there with my three fussing children, crayon wrappers littering the aisle, the smell of a poopy diaper wafting through the air, I listened passionately to the words he shared with the congregation.
And then, tears began to stream down my cheeks. Christ’s death was real. Was powerful. Was for me.
As we prepare to celebrate our Lord’s resurrection tomorrow morning, let’s meditate on what it was he accomplished in that! With Stu’s permission, I want to share this with you all.
The Lamb of God, killed for our transgressions.
Good Friday Meditation: It is finished!
Written by Stuart Elliott
“When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” John 19:30
The finished work of Christ is not like our finished work. Our work is never really done, and this creates an underlying sense of restlessness. If you let it get the better of you it can be absolutely destructive and deteriorating. My wife and I have just started using this app together. It is a productivity app that helps you focus your goals and pair them with actions and weekly routines and to do lists. When you have completed something and checked it off the list it makes a ringing sound. Over this spring break I have become like one of Pavlov’s dogs. When I hear that ringing sound I get an uncontrollable sensation. I love to hear that sound of completion and then see the check mark in the box… Yes, I’ve finished that.
Now, what’s next on the list? And guess what, when that one is finished there are seven more things to do, and tomorrow is a whole new list, and when that goal is met we will make new ones and on and on. We are never really finished are we? Even when we come to the end of something we look back and realize that it wasn’t done perfectly. There is always something that could have been done better or wasn’t finished right or whatever the case may be.
But at the core of our being is a longing, a desire for completeness, for an ultimate and final “It is Finished!” As I reflect on my life I see so clearly the struggle and conflict with this desire for being finished. Maybe you can identify with it too. “I just want to be finished with school. I just want to be finished being a kid I want to be a grown up and be free. I just want to be finished with this job and move on. I just want to be finished with this part of my life; I am ready for something else. I just want to be finished being a grown up; it’s too much responsibility.” How refreshing it is, like a breath of fresh spring air after the dark of winter, when we go to the Scriptures and see that at its heart, at it’s essence is this truth: “It IS finished!”
We crave completeness, for things to be finished but we can never really obtain it because of sin. Completeness had to be obtained on our behalf. And so, we must look to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, the one man who could truly say, “It is finished.” That completeness is now ours by faith in the one that actually accomplished it.
And we can rest assured, the “It is finished” of Jesus, is not like the “It is finished” of the student when his mom asked if he finished that paper that is due tomorrow (which he hadn’t started until that night). No, when Jesus says it is finished, he is not just saying, “Yeah, I got it done”. He is saying, “I finished it completely, fully, perfectly, all sufficiently in such a way that it is once and for all, never to be repeated or replicated”.
Filling the box of Christ’s to-do list of redemption is a giant check mark, and nothing has been or can be added to it. But you know what the incredible thing is? The thing that continues to just baffle me and humble me, as it should you? Christ takes his redemption to-do list: the one with the giant check, the one that cost him his life to complete, and the one he literally worked himself to death to accomplish. He takes it and hands it over to me.
And as I look at it, it reads, “Stuart’s redemption to-do list.” CHECK. It is finished!
As real as the air we breathe and more powerful than we can even begin to understand.
May you celebrate and rejoice in Christ’s death and resurrection!
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