Read: John 19:1-20:31
Easter is my favorite holiday. Christmas is too much stuff. You have to get the stuff out, and then you have to put it all away. I love the simplicity of Easter. I love putting a cross in my yard. I love the music. I love the emphasis on the finished work of Jesus Christ.
There is so much about this life that is not finished. The laundry is never finished. While we are folding the last piece, we are dirtying what is on our bodies. Our work never seems finished. One project is done, but another is on the horizon. Our relationships are never finished. The day you say “I do” is only the beginning. Our relationships with our children, friends, and co-workers are always evolving and changing. Even our growth in Christ-likeness is never ending. There is always some sin that seems to have surfaced in my life or some character trait that I know needs work. So, is anything truly finished?
Jesus proclaims from the cross, “It is finished.”
But what is “it”?
In John 17:4 Jesus prays to the Father, “I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.” So “it” is the work Jesus was given to accomplish. But what was the “work” Jesus was sent to do? John 3 clearly states His mission:
Jesus came to save the world. He saved the world by providing the way for our sentence of condemnation to be removed once and for all. In 2 Corinthians 5:21 we read, “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.”
The good news of the mission of Jesus Christ is this:
We were condemned. Jesus came and took our place on that Roman cross. He extends His perfect life to fallen humans. We are merely asked to receive His gift to us. It was free for us but costly for Him.
John 19 begins by telling us, “Then Pilate took Jesus and had Him flogged.” Pilate hoped that having Jesus beaten would placate the Jews who wanted Him dead. But they were relentless. When Pilate wanted to set Jesus free, the Jews shouted, “If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar. Anyone who claims to be a king opposes Caesar.” They knew exactly what they were doing. Pilate was presented with a difficult decision. Freeing Jesus was the right thing to do but would cost Pilate politically. Killing Jesus would protect him but kill an innocent man.
We know what he chose. Pilate chose to protect himself. The religious leaders chose to protect themselves. Jesus was the only one willing to die. He allowed the soldiers to nail His hands and feet to a cross and raise Him up for all to see. They thought they were humiliating Jesus, but they were putting His incredible love on display.
From the cross, Jesus cries in a loud voice,
What is finished?
Our condemnation is finished.
Our righteous standing before God is finished.
Jesus stands before us all with outstretched arms. Will you take the gift?
Once we have received His gift, He asks us to believe our relationship with God is eternally settled. We are forgiven, and we are set free from the power of sin to condemn us and hold us captive to sinful patterns.
Take a deep breath. Yes, much about this life is never finished. Your to-do list is not yet tackled. Your big project at work may not be finished. Your difficult relationship may still be hard. Your health struggle is still evolving.
But you and I have been given the gift of a relationship with our heavenly Father for all eternity. Our sins past, present, and future have been done away with. Our sins were nailed to the cross with the body of Jesus, and in sin’s place, we were given the gift of His righteousness. This was the greatest gift of all time.
In your Going Deeper Participant Guide, let’s look at Day 19 beginning on page 41. Complete Look at the Details and Personal Application sections. Then come back here and share your answer to the following discussion question in the comment section below. (You can find the comment section at the bottom of this message. Just scroll down and you’ll see the words “Post a Comment.” Click there and share your responses.) Or, join the conversation on our Facebook Community Group.
"Would you be willing to share your story of faith in Jesus Christ?"
I will be posting my responses in the comment section and on Facebook too, so I hope to see you there! #undividedwomen