Lent, Week 6: It is finished

A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips.  

When Jesus had tasted it, he said,

"It is finished!"  

Then he bowed his head and released his spirit.  John 19:29-30

"It is finished."  

Traditionally, the word of Triumph.  

But if you and I were standing at the Cross on that day, we would think what everybody else thought.

"It is finished."

It's over.

It's done.

The story has ended.

The dream is dead.

There is no more.

"And now, who has won?  Fool, did you think that by all this you would save the human traitor?  Now I will kill you instead of him as our pact was and so the Deep Magic will be appeased.  But when you are dead what will prevent me from killing him as well?  And who will take him out of my hand then?  Understand that you have given me Narnia forever, you have lost your own life and you have not saved his.  In that knowledge, despair and die."  The White Witch,  in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe,  by C. S. Lewis

"Despair and die."

That seems like the right and logical thing to do, at the end of this terrible, excruciating day of agony.

We call "It is finished" the word of Triumph because we've lived past it now, and we've seen what's come later.

But in that moment, in that horrible moment, there is no more, just loss and grief and darkness and despair.

"It is finished."

I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone.  But its death will produce many new kernels--a plentiful harvest of new lives.  John 12:24

"It is finished" holds death in one hand and triumph in the other.

The triumph is real.  The harvest is real.

The death is real, too.  

And it comes first, for Jesus and for us.  

One thing finishes, before another begins.

"It is finished."

It's okay for us to grieve what is finished.  

It's okay that we don't see the triumph, or know yet what redemption looks like.

It's okay to be in the moment, the weeks, the months, the years of confusion and loss.

It's okay, because we might not be finished, but

"It is finished."

Our work is FINISHED.

Every single bit of it is finished.  

Not just our salvation, but the way we walk out our lives every day--the trying hard, the being in control, the being a good example, the getting our emotions just right--our work is finished.

We don't have to be in charge of it anymore.

Grace has fallen to the earth, grace has fallen on us, and grace will finish its perfect work.

We can just be here with Jesus, and let it be, whatever it is.

"It is finished."

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