“It is finished”
This was the day to which Jesus had been travelling from before the world was formed. And now, finally, it had arrived.
The arrest and false trials were behind Him. The religious leaders and baying crowds had achieved their purpose. The brutal flogging, mocking and the burden of the heavy cross had been endured. Now He hung there, naked, torn and bleeding and exposed to the self-righteous taunts of His persecutors. The heavy nails pinned His flesh to the splintered wood. And the only way in which He could ease one area of pain was to enflame another.
His first words, which appear to have been said repeatedly, where to ask God to forgive those around Him. This was in line with His purpose which was to take upon Himself the sins of the world. And so the sin of the world came upon Him and the weight and effect of it was to fill Him with the darkness of separation from the Father – a terrible empty blackness that He had never experienced before.
“Jesus cried out in a loud voice,
“Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”–which means,
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Still His faith held. And as He entrusted Himself to the Father – whose will He had obeyed to the full – His great cry rang out. It was not a wail of despair or a gasp of relief, but a great shout of victory. And God Himself tore the mighty curtain of the Temple in two from top to bottom. The way into the Holy of Holies – into the very presence of God Himself – was now open to all who believed.
Jesus, the Living Word of God, had proved faithful to the very end and would soon return to the Father.
“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
and do not return to it without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
And you and I who believe become the daughters and sons of the Living God in a new and eternal way that can never be lost or taken away from us.
When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.
Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.
See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were an offering far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.