It is Finished; It Begins…
In his final hours, Jesus said, “It is finished.” What is “it?”
Did he mean his life? No. He predicted at least three times that he would rise again. Easter is trumpet call in history declaring this man has the power to overcome everything. He knew his life wasn’t over.
Did he mean his mission? No. His mission – to bring the Kingdom of God – was just beginning. That mission would be passed to his people, his church. He intended for church to be the place that most closely resembled heaven. His mission would go on.
Did he mean his relationships? No. He told his disciples during the Last Supper that he would not drink the fruit of the vine until he drank it anew in the Kingdom – presumably with them. He would see them again and be with them even until the end of time.
Did he mean the great work of forgiveness his death accomplished was completed? No. People would still need to be forgiven. His great work of grace would reach backwards through history to forgive atrocities lost in mists of time and reach forward through the future to take hold of all the sins humans would commit (some in his name). The great work of grace centers on the cross, but it does not end there. His forgiveness had just started.
What did he mean?
Before something can begin, something has to finish. To begin a marriage, singleness has to end. To start a new job, whatever else filled your time has to finish. To begin a new habit, an old habit has to finish.
When Jesus said, “It is finished” he was saying the old way was done. The old pattern of relating to God through rules was over. The old ideas of gods who were projections of who human beings wanted to be were finished. The old tricks of Satan would be now seen in the light of the God who sacrifices himself for people who do not deserve it. All the old ways were done. They were finished. Jesus finished them.
What began? God telling us he wants relationship with us. God proving he will pay the price for our sins. God shining the brilliant light of his forgiveness into the dark corners of our torn apart souls.
All this beginning was for you. And me. And this fractured, broken world.
This weekend, remember “it” is finished. There’s a new beginning for you.