(This is part of an Easter series: The Seven Sayings of Jesus on the Cross. To view all posts in this series, click here.)
In previous posts we looked a Jesus’s selflessness in the dying process and His endurance in the dying process. The last part of the dying process that we are going to look at is SURRENDER.
I am crucified with Christ: neverthless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. ~Galatians 2:20
As we are in our dying process, we will go through a lot. Usually it is very painful. Whatever part of our flesh we are seeking to crucify puts up quite a fight.
Whether it is attitude, habits, rebellion against God, pride, lack of faith… there is something in our lives that we need to crucify. During this process, we will have opportunities to die gracefully, as Jesus did, and experience the resurrection power of God, or to put up a kicking, screaming, fight and experience continual turmoil and grief.
We will have the opportunity to pray for others, to forgive others, to extend undeserved blessings to others, to make provision for others’ needs. We will have times when we have to endure pain & hardship, at which times we can either let our anguish or our faith take over. We will have opportunities to cry out to God. We will have opportunities to know the heart of God, to ask for help from others, or to bear more than God has required. We will have the opportunity to do our part in the fullness of God’s plans, or to take shortcuts.
All this will bring us to the ultimate point of surrendering our SELF to God.
Let’s look at Jesus’s next statement from the cross.
PROCLAMATION OF COMPLETION – It is finished.
When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. ~John 19:30
He makes a statement, a simple statement of three little words. What does this simple statement mean? What is finished? What does it mean for us?
It is a statement that the sin debt has been paid.
As God speaking to us, Jesus lets us know that the amazing, gracious redemption plant is completed. No more are we under the old covenant of law, but under the new covenant of grace offered freely for all who will call upon the name of Jesus. The redemption plan established before the beginning of time has been completed and believers are the beneficiaries.
I hear the Savior say,
“Thy strength indeed is small;
Child of weakness, watch and pray,
Find in Me thine all in all.”
Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow
Elvina M. Hall, 1865
Statement of victory.
This simple statement is a statement of triumph! I like that He didn’t say “It is over.” That would imply defeat or giving up. No – Jesus did not come to abolish the law, He came to fulfill it, to complete it, to FINISH it!
Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. ~Matthew 5:17
How joyous to be a part of God’s plan and to see the accomplishment of that plan. This is ultimate accomplishment.
Jesus knew that a debt had to be paid.
Jesus knew his part in paying it.
Jesus knew when his part was completed.
There is a lot of “knowing” involved.
There are a lot of things we KNOW that God wants us to do. Have we taken steps to complete these? How close are you to your “It is Finished” line?
It is an example to us that we can complete the work God has given us.
Wow! What an accomplishment – to finish the work that God has assigned us. I hope that every day I’m striving to seek God’s will and God’s way so much that I am finishing the work He has for me.
Another interesting thing that I think we can learn is that when we are finished doing God’s work here, He promptly takes us home where we receive our reward. The everlasting presence of the Lord is quite an incentive to work towards the “IT IS FINISHED LINE”; to deny ourselves, pick up our cross, and follow.
I’m a Believer!