Seems like every sermon that I’ve heard over the past two days is about the sixth cry Jesus made on the cross: “It is finished.” I’ve found myself emotionally torn over that cry so many times, so my ear was naturally attuned to pay attention to those teachings. In the past, sometimes I’ve thought that cry was merely a death cry. Kind of like Jesus saying good-bye. But far more often, if I’m really honest, I’ve wondered “What?” What’s finished?
Of course I know the theological implications. The sacrifice has been done. I know the exchange that took place. But I’ve always felt like there’s something more; something I wasn’t taught; something that I was supposed to “get;” something more than imposed penitence. A teaching I heard yesterday offered new insight into this problem.
The author-speaker said it this way yesterday (information on the program I heard here:http://www.moodyradio.org/brd_ProgramDetail.aspx?id=49941)
When Jesus said it was finished, it was a word that soldiers knew best. It was a victory cry.
Wow. Somehow in all my years of meditating on the Psalm 22 and on the words in the Gospel, I never thought of Him screaming that as a victory cry. I’ve always had this made-for-TV image of Him being heartbroken, with utter exhaustion and despair saying those words. But never did I give Him the credit of a warrior in that situation.
It’s not surprising.
Right now, I’m in a season where the Lord is confronting the areas of my life where I don’t have much faith. Don’t get me wrong, I have absurd faith in some areas, BUT I lack in so many really important areas. For those situations and issues I find myself erroneously believing that Jesus will have victory, but it will be at the expense of bringing me to despair. I admit right now that statement is an agreement that needs to be broken. It has limited God’s presence in my life, and I’m not going to persist in it any more.
It’s not in God’s character to be worn out. And so, it’s not in God’s character to get worn out in me. When He says “my grace is sufficient,” He’s not being thrifty. He’s being honest. His grace, His presence, His character in our lives is enough to renew, restore, resurrect, and then some. I want to tap into that more. Not in a stalwart way. Not in a religious way. But in a deepening of relationship and a deepening of trust like is unseen in culture and unseen in me. I want Jesus to declare “It is finished” over so many areas of my life that it will take a lifetime. But a lifetime, and then some, is the amount He’s called me to, and the amount that I have willingly, gladly, agreed to. And the fact that He calls that Glory unto Him, now that brings me to my knees in an honest way.