Saturday, April 23, 2011
It was finished. He said so.
When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. [John 19:30 KJV]
So, why are you here, reading this? Because there’s a second part yet to come. Our problems stem from that time when His friends, family and followers believed “It is finished,” constituted the whole of the story. They, as we do today, neglect John 14:26, 15:26 and 16:7 (among many other verses.) At the very least, they should have found comfort in His words. If they were never to see Him again, they could recall Him saying:
But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. [Matthew 22:31-32 KJV]
They paid no attention to what He said, they were concerned with what Roman soldiers had done. We don’t even do that! Seldom do we consider what was done to Jesus, and that’s not really a bad thing. We need to know it, we need to acknowledge it and we need to appreciate and love Him for it, but that’s not the focus of His teaching. There are four books that were inspired to tell of His daily walks in life, followed by other inspired writings to help us understand how to apply those teachings in our lives that others might learn them.
Thomas Jefferson thought that the writings were good to live by, as long as the miraculous, the spiritual, could be removed. No creating wine from water, no healing the blind, no making the lame to walk. Just remove all that and the method of living a good life would be sufficient.
Why is it so hard to believe there is a loving God sufficient in mercy that He reaches out to His creation?
Don't pack a bag of guilt if you have a problem believing that, too. His followers had been with Him for three years and they did not understand what He was teaching. They heard his words and inserted them into what they wanted to see -- an earthly kingdom that would bring peace to all and power to Israel. We do exactly the same thing. We read His word without His presence because we believe all this happened too long ago to make a difference in our lives.
That's what His disciples thought, when it was only the day before that their dreams and hopes ended.
Don't stop there. There was so much more for them, and so much greater in store for us. It is finished is only another beginning. Oh, yes, the ending was written -- be blessed by reading that, too.