Friday, February 12, 2016
When Jesus had tasted it (sour wine), he said, "It is finished!" Then he bowed his head and released his spirit.
Found myself kind of hanging around "the cross" this week. Not that I can ever truly escape it. The cross of Christ defines my life. What took place on that cruel instrument of death, opened the door for you and me to have life and relationship with God. Funny thing about the cross......all of humanity stands before it, not by choice but by truth. We all stand on equal footing at the cross. It doesn't matter what your social standing is..rich or poor. Education has no bearing on the message of the cross. The cross either draws you in, or it causes you to want to turn away. Such is power of truth, and the greatest truth one can know is the truth of who they really are. We are a race of beings in need of being saved. We are a humanity in dire need of having the power and penalty of sin ripped out of our very being, and in its place, a filling and overflowing of God's Holy Spirit. We have feasted on the dregs and filth of a sin table, thinking that we are living in fine dining. It's not until you embrace this cross that you realize the bounty and love God has for you.
As a kid, I use to wonder how God could love those who were a part of the crucifixion of Jesus. How could Jesus look down on the Roman soldiers gathered at the foot of where he hung, and say, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do!"? How could Jesus not call down ten thousand legions of angels to dispense real justice on the crowd of religious onlookers?
As an adult, I have a better understanding. Love! The pure diving love not born of this world, and not affected by sin. A love that held Jesus to that cross. It wasn't three nails and ropes that held him.....He could have come down off that cross and walked away. But the mission that he had come to complete called for him to die. Go all the way....see it through no matter what the cost. Anything less would have been failure, and you and I would have been doomed with a debt of sin that we could never repay.
So when Jesus cried out, "IT IS FINISHED!"...
IT wasn't his life he was speaking of, although his life ended shortly thereafter.
It was an exclamation point placed on the mission he'd been given by his heavenly Father.
"For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him."
That message still remains...
The words of Jesus....."It is finished"...is why I burn with a fire to let others know that they no longer have to live under the curse of sin/addiction. Why? Because whatever power that holds you in the darkness has been broken. It is finished.
You no longer have to bow you knee to the bottle, needle or pill. Why? Because there is no longer a force stronger than what took place on the cross with Jesus' death. When those old voices come to your thoughts, and seek to pull you back into the death-darkness...remind them that whatever power they may think they have has been defeated once and for all time..."IT IS FINISHED!"
Just maybe, when Jesus cried out those three words from the cross..."it is finished".. It was a declaration of more than the end of his life and the work he had been given to see through to the end. Maybe it was more than the declaration about sin and it's power. Maybe....just maybe it was the eternal exclamation point, driven down into a world that rejected him and his message. A message that sin no longer ruled this planet and this humanity. A message that declared that the Kingdom of God was now firmly entrenched and there would be no longer "Business as usual" under the dictates of the devil and his minions. Now is the day of our salvation. Now is the time of our own "death and resurrection" from the power of sin.......the penalty of sin.....and the presence of sin.
Now is that don't set you on fire....
Your wood is wet.
God on you...
This is a reprint from August 2013. Why this one? Because we need not ever forget the character and love that this man possessed. What h...