It is Finished
Today as I led the daily phone call, “15 Minutes to Focus” I read all of John 18 and most of 19 until I got to Jesus’ words, “It is finished.” It was a good place to stop because I wanted to have the emphasis of Holy Week end there. Jesus knew it was the end. We can too. I wonder how many times we try to help Jesus out with “it needs just one more thing.” Maybe if we pray more, or give more, or suffer more, we can help Jesus get us the answer. Peter tried it when Jesus told his friends, “I am going to suffer and die, but on the third day I will be raised to life” (Matthew 16:21-22).
Peter thought he knew better so he took Jesus aside and said, “This will never happen to you!” But, Jesus didn’t look at him gratefully and shrink away from his call to suffer and die, He called Peter Satan. Not exactly the best name for someone he has just given the keys of the kingdom to carry.
But, I know I do it all the time. I hang on to challenges, problems, issues…and I offer Jesus my own solutions of how it could be different. I did it this morning when I awoke from a dead sleep with an issue that just can’t seem to get resolved. But, as I stumbled around in the dark of early morning, I sensed Jesus tell me, “I’ve got this, it is finished. Focus on my word: I finished the work.”
Hebrews 12:1-3 says this, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
This statement, Jesus sitting down at the right hand of God, implies the finished work. Sitting down means rest, not striving…not energy production, but rest. It is the place of peace and rest.
So, how can we take Jesus statement “It is finished” and make it practical for our lives today? Here are some thoughts:
- Learn to picture Jesus sitting on the throne at God’s right hand; in the place of rest. When you are tempted to take a situation or challenge out of his hands and back into your own, say out loud (if possible), “Jesus, you’ve finished the work. I trust you with it.”
- Imagine a spectrum with fear on the left and faith on the right. Ask yourself, “Am I moving in fear or faith right now?” If you discover its fear, make a choice to put it at Jesus’ feet, and move to faith.
- Choose worship over worry. When tempted to worry about children, bills and jobs, the everyday stuff of life, begin to worship Jesus as the Son of God who sits at God’s right hand. Choose where to put your focus.
- Integrate Hebrews 4:14-16 into your whole body, soul and spirit. “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a great high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are; yet he was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
Good Friday, it’s a good time to focus on “It is finished.”