"It is Finished"

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Lord, may the words of my mouth and the meditation of all of our hearts be acceptable in your sight, our strength and our redeemer. – Amen

“It is finished”

“It is finished”

These are the last words of Jesus of Nazareth

Hanging on a cross… outside the city… in the place of the skull… Golgotha… hanging from the nails that were hammered through in his hands and one big nail through both his legs… like the worst criminal - and in the middle of two criminals

Away from the gate of the city that less than a week ago He entered amidst a chorus of praise and adoration for the coming of a king

Yet up on a hill for all that approach the city to see…

Dead – hanging in the worst type of death known

          A death to evoke fear in all that would see

This death was to send a message of just how powerful the Roman Empire was

Consider what the last words of Jesus would have meant:

To Judas - this was the end of a long journey that has ended in disappointment

          When once things seemed to be so promising

This was the messiah that was to bring us Jews everything that the prophets had ever promised

          This was the end of Roman occupation

This was the end of 1/3 of everyone we know being a slave

This was the man that was supposed to set the captives free, that was to bring the year of jubilation

How could we have been so wrong?

          How could we have misread the signs?

                   He surely was of God, he miraculously healed people

He taught - and people from miles away would come and listen, they would leave everything, sometimes coming so captivated by His teachings that they would not bring food or drink – yet He provided for all that came….

Some of His teachings were confusing, some of His ways didn’t make sense, I should have understood sooner, I should seen how He was not going to lead us to military victory

Only a few days ago a foolish woman wasted a years salary worth of precious oil on His feet - and He said ‘it was alright, she was

Preparing Him for burial’ – well, burial is what He wanted and I helped make sure of that.

The hope of a Jewish Kingdom rising out of this oppression - “It is finished”

Consider what it would have meant to Caiaphas, the high priest and all the other priests, Sadducees and Jewish religious leaders

          This is finally the end of that problem

                   No longer will the people be distracted from the temple

                             No longer will we hear of people hungry for this new message

                                      It is back to business as usual

The Passover festival can continue

No longer will we be challenged and made to feel like we don’t know what we are talking about

No longer will we have to worry about who is loyal to us

No longer will we have to settle the minds of the Romans occupiers about their concerns for this movement – this uprising

It is better that this one man shall die for the good and the peace of all the people - “It is finished”

Consider what this would have meant to Pontius Pilate:

          That was a close one!

There was so many gathered – so many of these Jews gathered at this time in this God-forsaken land, in which I am sentenced to

          This place, so far away from the real action in Rome

This land we no one respects me, where we are forced to put up with these Jewish customs, where we allow them to continue because it is easier to rule, letting them to continue as long as they understand and fear the power I weald

Yet that was a close one

This Jesus seems to me to have done nothing wrong – but He sure could get a crowd going, only last week I was told that they treated Him like a King as He entered the city

I made sure that people in every language knew what He had been crucified for – ‘King of the Jews’, is what I wrote for His cross!

          This was the end of a long and strange day

Where my wife, came to me, she doesn’t normally bother me during the day – yet she came to me and told me to have nothing to do with this Jesus – that she had a dream that troubled her

Then these crazy religious Jews, they bring me this man, Jesus, a Nazarene, to execute, because they don’t like the message He has

They have no charges against Him, and they leave His judgement up to me

I questioned Him - and His answers show no fear

He didn’t seem to understand that I hold His life in my hands

He claims to testify to the truth

Ah… what is truth?

It is certainly not with these Religious crazies – that much is easy to see

Try as I may to respect my wife’s warning and to release this innocent man, they repeatedly call for His death

          And trade Him for the bandit Barabbas

Truth – I don’t know what it is – but I wash my hands of all it - “It is Finished”

Consider what this would have meant to Peter:

          My Best friend is dead

                   I don’t understand

                             He brought me out of everything that I have ever known

                                      I left my job – I left my boats – I left my family

                                                To follow – to learn

                                                          He gave me the power to heal as He healed

I saw thousands seek Him where-ever He went – to hear what he taught – to be healed from all kinds of illness

He even brought Lazarus back to life 

My best friend – my teacher – The man I thought was the Messiah is dead        Like a criminal

And I betrayed Him - three times – just like he said I would

I thought I would be stronger – I thought I would die for Him – but I was so afraid, so afraid - and now he is dead

I am so confused - “It is finished?”

Consider what it would have meant to Mary, the mother of Jesus:

          My Son, my Son

                   In whom God gave to me to care

                             In whom the angel told me, was God’s Son

                                      Jesus, who at twelve marvelled the priests in the temple,

                                                Jesus who did so many miraculous things

                                                          From water into wine

                                                                   To healing

                                                                             To teaching

                   To showing us a different way to understand the scriptures

                             My Boy!

Who, I knew a long time ago in my heart, was someone beyond normal understanding

          My Son – God’s Son     Is dead

The miracles are over – the suffering is over – the torture is over – the pain is over

          “It is finished”

Consider what it might mean to Jesus:

“It is finished”

My work is done

What I came to accomplish – What Abba sent me here for – is complete

I have taught

          I have healed

                   I have shown them signs and wonders - miracles

                             I have served

                                       I have given them a ‘new commandment’

I have shown them … I have lived… for them … I have died… for them… I love them… so that they might truly know my new commandment

                                                          “It is finished”

Consider what it might mean to God the Father:

My obedient Son – well done – “good and faith servant”

My children of faith will know that I love them so much that I sent My one and only Son that they may know my love

          That they might know ‘my way’ is love

That they can be released of their sins – that they can be united with their creator for evermore – that they may know Love

          That they may live love

                                      “It is finished”

Consider what the Cross – what the last words of Jesus means to you…

          “It is finished”

Thank you Jesus – Thanks be to God - Amen

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