It Is Finished

| 13 April 2020

Being a good procrastinator is a great blessing. There’s nothing quite like getting an A on a test you crammed for the night before, throwing together an A+ project within hours of the deadline, or crushing a public speech you winged. But being a good procrastinator is likewise a great curse. Late nights, terrible stress, and the perpetual condition of kicking myself all add up to a high stakes and high stress lifestyle capable of turning gray even the most virile.

Oddly enough, it was always my perfectionism that led me to procrastinate. Nothing was quite good enough for me to commit to — because as soon as I committed to it, I would get discouraged and leave it to my future self to pick up the pieces.

Perfectionism is impossible for any man – save but one — to achieve. And it’s harder than impossible for us to attain perfection consistently. But from the very moment Jesus entered the world he “was tempted in every way … yet was without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15)

Whereas I struggled to mow my father’s lawn as a high schooler, Jesus couldn’t bear to be anywhere but His Father’s house! (Luke 2:48-49)  Responsibility generated an allergic reaction in me, but to Him — His Father’s will was His “food” (John 4:34). His work was and forever will be the only thing worth bragging about (Galatians 6:14).

Such was the tremendous burden placed upon the shoulders of our Savior; if creating the world wasn’t enough, (Colossians 1:16) He also had to contend with the worst it could throw at him (John 16:33) and manage to save it from itself (John 3:16-17).

This gargantuan burden caused Him, the very picture of perfection (Col. 1:15), to sweat beads of blood and beg for it to pass to another. But it was not as if he had only to manage one moment of perfection. The massive task of salvation required a lifetime of sinlessness (2 Cor. 5:21)! Even with a perfect track record behind him — the thought of the cross made Jesus beg for mercy.

Imagine the tremendous relief, then, when he finally took his last breath and belted in a proclamation of triumphant defiance against the demonic hordes, “It is finished!” (John 19:30)

Nothing can diminish his perfect accomplishment. He’s run the race. He’s given us the perfect path to the Father. His finished work is staked in history as much as it is staked in Him. And now by this one perfect sacrifice all of us are made holy (Hebrews 10:14) – that by the mere belief in his perfect, divine act we are all attributed this same victory. (Romans 10:4)

The end for Him marked a new beginning for you and for me – all to the praise of His glorious grace! (Ephesians 1:6)

LIVE THE STORY

Read Matthew 26:36-44. Imagine you’re one of the disciples having a hard time staying awake. Then, read Matthew 27:32-44 and imagine you’re one of the disciples watching your perfect Teacher and friend being crucified — knowing that he’s there taking your place. Have a prayerful reflection time with the Lord regarding these scenes and what reactions you have to it.

By Ryan Lunde
Pastor of Young Adults