“It is finished”
The last words Jesus breathed before he died.
What a painful, painful moment. The nails, the thorns, the lashes, they had taken his life. In that moment, it seemed as though Jesus had lost everything. It was finished, His life was over.
Haven’t we all felt that way at one point or another? I know I have. There have been numerous times when I have felt the excruciating pain of loss. There are certain losses that shake your entire world, and some that change your entire life as you know it. Watching the person who promised to stay walk out. A lifelong partnership finished before the long part of life. The death of a loved one and the painful knowledge that your time with them on this earth is finished. Losing trust that’s taken years to build, wounds that seem beyond repair. These are the kinds of losses that can overshadow everything else in the moment. When life gives us an unwanted “it is finished”, hopelessness can feel overpowering.
But there’s more to the story. Jesus didn’t stay dead, because He belongs to a Father who turns death into life. God reached down and grabbed what darkness had seemingly taken, and turned it into the salvation of the world. He took death and not only defied it psychically with Jesus, He defied it spiritually for all of humanity.
Jesus didn’t want to die such a horrible death in the moment. He was human, so he felt it all, every blow, just as we would. He even prayed “”Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42). He didn’t want to endure the horrific pain that was coming, but He also trusted His Father enough to desire His will above his own. Jesus knew that God would take the pain and turn it into a miracle. Jesus could have fought it, but He didn’t, because He trusted His Father’s plan. God asked Jesus to give His life up, with the promise that it would be more than OK in the end. He didn’t ask Jesus to give up His life because He’s mean, or because He wanted Jesus to suffer. I can’t even imagine the pain God felt watching His only, precious son go through everything He went through.
Would you believe that God feels the same way about us?
What would it look like for us to trust God with the people or things that are being taken from us, daring to believe that He can be trusted to reach down into the situation and bring us to a place of healing and life that we never even imagined before?
Maybe God is whispering “Let it go, my child. Let me have it. This is not my best for you. I did not create you to live a life full of hurt.”
When Jesus said “it is finished”, he meant something much more than just His physical life. He meant the ultimate sacrifice that would forever offer all of humanity the gift of salvation and eternal life was finished. In other words, God was going to take back what the world took from Him and turn it into a miraculous blessing.
If you feel like something is being taken from you, or you feel like you are losing something that can never be replaced, let me remind you that you serve and are loved by a God who brought life in the place of death.
He took what was taken from Jesus and brought an impossible amount of greatness. It is scary to give up things, people, feelings. But God knows that, and I truly believe He wants us to hear Him when He says You are my child, I do not want to take anything from you, I want to give you more happiness, security, peace and love than you ever imagined. Trust me, I love you.
Maybe it is finished. That relationship might be over. That season of life may have ended. You may have to let go of someone you have loved dearly. But your life, my life, in Jesus Christ is by no means finished. Even in the midst of life-altering losses, we can cling to the promise of Resurrection. The best is always yet to come in a life with God.
Can’t imagine your life without him, her, it? Me neither. That’s OK, because that’s exactly where God is going to take us if we let Him – a place unlike anything we can imagine.
“”For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'” Jeremiah 29:11