“it is finished”
“It is finished.”
Like a voice exercise in a drama class it can be hard to know where to put the emphasis in these short three words.
IT is finished
It IS finished
It is FINISHED
And what is it that is finished, and why and how?
Do we read these words as a sigh, a giving in?
Much like at the end of a day, I’m finished –as we collapse into the sofa with our particular poison – be it trash TV, a cold glass, a onsie 😉
or after the battle with a dilemma, a puzzle, a situation, – when it’s more that it has finished us, than we it?
Is it triumphant & angry –the expulsion of energy and passion as we gain mastery over a problem, a flatpack bookcase, a flat tyre?
When Jesus utters these words, what does he mean, what is he saying?
What is finished?
For Jesus “ it is finished” is not just about his life being at an end ;
though it is that; the incarnate being of God comes to an end, flesh fails, ends, is done in, is finished.
He’s not talking about the end of the road for his work.
Yes the ministry he had for three years is over, at least in the way it was; no more travelling, and wandering and preaching to crowds, and speaking to, drawing in, those on the edges, this now , is finished.
He’s not either talking about the hope they had just a few days ago; the Hosannas and the palm branches, the hope of a King come to save; though that dream is over, at least in the way it was dreamt by that crowd.
He’s not talking about the end of the relationships he’d built and nurtured; though for sure they have passed.
Peter is still mired in his guilt and shame for denying his Lord. Everyone but John and the women have run off; those easy, if bewildered friendships have now come to an end,
at least in the form that they were.
It is finished..it is done, it is complete.
Jesus has shown us who God is, what love is; on the cross that is fully shown, fully expounded.
There is nothing more to be said.
In love to the death Jesus opens up for us the love of God, there is nothing he will not do.
Love is thrown wide,
God is made known, arms stretched, pain wracked, heart torn.
God has finished what he set out to do; to bring love and acceptance to all his creation.
To restore and to heal, to live in and through the pain.
On the cross as Jesus died, love obliterated sin and pain and brokenness.
Love broke apart everything that tears us up and breaks us down.
Love has finished , completed, dealt with, what we in our sin had wrecked & broken.
Love restores us to God.
On the cross love shows us the way to God; though & beyond the pain of sin not round it, ignoring it and skirting the issue.
It *is* finished.
The chains are broken,
God is ultimately revealed,
the picture is finished, the work is done.
Through death, the end of death itself.
The gate opens; “It is finished” is just the beginning.