Archive for April, 2012

This Sunday we will celebrate our Risen Savior. Easter is when we specifically reflect on the Resurrection of Christ (Yes, scripture does not tell us to celebrate it in the way we do but hang with me here). While the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the crowning proof of Christianity let us take time today to think about the Cross. What happened and what was accomplished is what makes Good Friday, Good!

The seven statements Jesus Christ made from the cross give us a glimpse into the eternal and show us that our salvation was paid in full, once and for all, at the cross. These statements are a great place to start. Justin Holcomb has given us some helpful recommendations for this here

I would like to spend a little time to encourage you with the importanat statement Jesus made from the cross in in the book of John: “It is finished.” I have had it stuck in my mind lately, maybe because I have listened to the powerful song my Matt Papa by that phrase so much. Maybe it is the truth of what Leonard Ravenhill said about these words from the cross in a sermon when he described them as: “The Greatest Words Ever Uttered By the Greatest Man That Ever Lived.” Certainly, in these three words we see the consummation of all the Old Testament truth and the germination of all New Testament truth. So be encouraged as we meditate on the amazing love of God toward us that on the cross His love and mercy met and that indeed: “It is finished!”Image

Now, having borne our sins, Jesus cries out “It is fin­ished!” (John 19:30). This battle cry of the cross was the greatest and most far-reaching battle cry ever heard in history. Those who stood close—Mary, John, the Roman soldiers, and others—were not the only ones who heard these three words. I believe these words echoed throughout heaven. I am sure they were heard as a cry of victory among the angels who would have, at any moment, come and gladly delivered the Lord from this situation. “It is finished.”

I also think these words reverberated throughout the hallways of hell as Satan realized his plan had backfired. In his blind rage and jealousy, Satan had filled the heart of Judas Iscariot to betray the Lord, but he actually helped bring about the completion of God’s plan. He unwittingly played into the plan and purpose of the Father, who determined long ago that God would come to this earth as a man and die on a cross. It is spoken of extensively in the Old Testa­ment. Suddenly, perhaps at this moment, it dawned on the devil that he just helped fulfill prophetic scriptures. He helped bring about the purposes of God. What was meant to destroy Jesus would now ultimately destroy the devil.

What does this phrase, “It is finished,” mean? It could be translated a number of ways: It is made an end of. It is paid. It is performed. It is accomplished. Each one of those phrases gives a different facet to the meaning of “It is finished.”

What was made an end of? Our slavery to sin & the guilt that accompanies it.  Romans 5:1-11  

What was paid? The price of our redemption.  Romans 3:21-26                                                                    

What was performed? The righteous requirements of the law. Galatians 3:10-14                      

What was accomplished? All that the Father had given Jesus to do.  John 19:20

The storm had finally passed. The devil had done his worst and the Lord had bruised Him. Now the darkness has ended, and it is finished. Understand this was a victory cry from Calvary. This was a glorious moment because the work was now completed.

What was finished? Finished were the horrendous sufferings of Christ. Never again would He experience pain or be in the hands of Satan. Never again would He bear the sins of the world. Never again would He, even for a moment, be forsaken of God. Finished were the demands of the Mosaic Law, those standards laid out in the Scripture that we were unable to keep.

Satan’s stronghold on humanity was ultimately finished. Because of what Jesus did on the cross, we no longer have to be under the power of Satan.

This does not mean we never will be tempted. It does not mean we are not vulnerable to the enticements of the devil. But it does mean that Satan has no rights over our lives. We were under his control, but Jesus suffered for our redemption. Jesus came and died for our freedom. This is what happened for us atCalvary. The humility, the sorrow, the suffering, the separation, the love—that is the passion of Jesus Christ.

Therefore, we no longer have to be under the power of any sin if we don’t want to be. We don’t have to be under the power of immorality. We don’t have to be under the power of addiction to drugs or alcohol. We don’t have to be under the power of any vice or any lifestyle. We have been freed by the work that Jesus per­formed on the cross. He has opened the door to our prison cells, but each of us must get up and walk out (Phillipians 2:12). 

Some of us don’t really want to be freed from the vsin that may have a strangle-hold on our lives. Some of us don’t want to change. Some of us don’t want to get out of the darkness we are in. I am telling you on the authority of Scripture that if you want out, the door is open (Romans 6:13).It does not mean it will be an easy path for you but know that Jesus Christ has paid the price. He will give you the power and resources to be victorious over the power of sin.He has given you His Word to help put sin to death (Romans 8:13). Your life will not be sinless, but you can sin less. Your life can be trans­formed because of what was finished on the cross.

Finished was our salvation. All our sins were transferred to Jesus when He hung on the cross, and righteousness was transferred to our account. As Isaiah 53:6 says, “The Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” It is finished. There is nothing that you or I can add to the work that Jesus did for us.

It is all paid—no more debts left. Jesus has done this for you and for me. “It is finished.” That my friends is Good News on this Good Friday!