Tuesday 5th February
“When Jesus had tasted it (the sour wine given on a hyssop branch), He said ‘It Is Finished’. Then He bowed His head and released His Spirit.” (Italics added).
Stop. Just think with me for one second. Imagine the worst thing that you have done in your life. The thing that you are so ashamed about you feel you can’t even tell God. Ok, now just imagine for a second that you had the courage to confess it to God and ask for forgiveness. You give it to God and bang!!! It has gone!! The guilt, the shame, the condemnation has all disappeared! Why? Because it is finished!
Too often, myself included, we live under the weight of our sin and shame. We are constantly reminded of sins that have been forgiven and pick up our old burdens that weigh us down. And yet instead of living in freedom and liberty, walking with our heads held high, knowing that we are not worthy but not worthless, we walk with slumped shoulders as if our past is a huge boulder that we have to carry. When Jesus uttered those last words on the cross “It is finished”, He meant it. The only people who don’t live it out in their lives are us.
Jesus’ work on the cross was the ransom and price we rightfully deserved but He took it for us. Jesus took our punishment on Himself. Does that mean we need to live in constant condemnation or carrying the weight of our past? Certainly not! Jesus, in paying our price, took away that weight that we cling on to. He took away the death penalty by dying in our place. Yet we are so quick to cling back to our forgiven past. We have to live as ‘IT IS FINISHED’ Christians; Christians who believe that when Jesus said ‘it is finished’, His work really was completed.
The Bible has many examples of people who were crushed by the guilt of sin. Take David, he said his un-confessed sin was pain to his bones. His rebellion haunted him day and night (Psalm 51:4). Until he confessed it to God, he lived in the guilt and shame of his sin. Or how about the Apostle Peter? Upon denying Jesus three times in Luke 22:62, condemned by his sin, left the courtyard weeping bitterly because he remembered his bold statement to Jesus that he would never deny Him. Yet he did. Interestingly we see Peter in John 21, go back to his old lifestyle, fishing. When Jesus first chose Peter he was fishing. When Jesus said “come and follow me”, he left his nets immediately and followed Jesus. Now here again Peter goes back to fishing because that is all he knew. Yet Jesus wanted him to be a fisher of men. His identity was found in his past instead of living in God’s call for his life. Jesus in verse 19 reinstated and re-affirms the call He gave to Peter when He first called him, “Come and follow me.”
Let us today live as Christians, as followers of Christ, as a people group who live under the promise of Jesus’ last words. “It is finished.” Don’t turn your head back to your past but live in the freedom of Christ’s finished work and find your identity in who Christ has called you to be!