‘It is finished‘ (John 19:30 NIV)
Most people at the time when Jesus had been scourged, beaten and crucified would have indeed believed that it was finished. Jesus had just died a horrific death, and had then been buried in a borrowed grave.
But in reality, even though the body of Jesus was in a tomb, it was far from finished, but Jesus’ followers and disciples did not understand that.
With hindsight for us now, we know how the story of Jesus’ crucifixion plays out, we know the ending, or even the net chapter, for the ending will not even be the return of Jesus, the ending will be ‘the believers living in heaven and worshipping for eternity’.
But, what we need to know for now, is, Jesus wins!
‘By his power God raised the Lord [Jesus] from the dead’ (1 Corinthians 6:14 NIV – emphasis / addition mine).
So now, in this present life, we can know for certain that Jesus did die for us;
‘You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly’ (Romans 5:6 NIV).
This may be difficult for some people to accept, but Jesus did something that no-one else could, can or ever will be able to do;
‘While we were still sinners, Christ died for us’ (Romans 5:8 NIV).
Jesus Christ died for us, and in addition to that he offers us something of great value, not money, not possessions, not a pension, what Jesus offers is better than the best thing that you have ever got or ever will, a gift of such value that it will overshadow everything you ever had or may have, it is a gift of eternal value;
‘For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Chris Jesus our Lord’ (Romans 6:23 ESV).
When I was younger, I was always after something for nothing, I knew nothing about Jesus or the Bible, my parents never mentioned church or Jesus, and my only knowledge of it came from school.
When I was a small boy, my parents used to buy me comics occasionally, and the ones that I wanted were always the ones that had a free gift with them, some small toy that to me, made the comic better, and in my young opinion it made life worth living for that few days that I had it.
Free gifts are always a draw to people, ‘buy one and get one free’ or ‘have a month’s free trial membership’.
Something for nothing, that is what most people want.
God died for you and me, and that is a fact;
‘So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many‘ (Hebrews 9:28 NIV).
Jesus gave his life for all people everywhere, you, me, your friends and family, the people you do not know, the people on small islands that have never even heard about him;
‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life’ (John 3:16 ESV – emphasis mine).
Jesus died because of the sin of mankind, and that sin required a sacrifice. The debt of sin we owed yet could not afford to pay, and all of us are guilty of sinning and need to get our debt paid somehow. Paul wrote to Titus and told him what Jesus had done for him and everyone;
‘Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness‘ (Titus 2:14 NIV).
If we turn to him, and believe what he did, then we can accept the greatest free gift ever, fact.
When we believe and trust Jesus, we can get the free gift of grace and mercy in our lives.
Jesus gives our lives a purpose, because when we become a believer, then we have a mission to perform for Jesus;
‘Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit’ (Matthew 28:19 – emphasis mine).
Sharing the Good News with others is the mission that we are all called to do, but we are not necessarily to do it alone, and even if no-one else comes with us we are still not alone;
‘behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age’ (Matthew 28:20 ESV – emphasis mine).
‘Never will I leave you’ (Hebrews 13:5 NIV).
The most important thing for us to remember is that Jesus died for us, and when we trust him with our life, he gives our life a purpose, a reason to live for, and he also gives us an eternal hope that we will live with him forever;
‘My Father’s house has many rooms, if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?’ (John 14:2 NIV).
Jesus gave his all for us so that we might be able to give our all to Him, and that purpose is to spread his word the ‘Good News‘ to all the people of the world with his ‘Great Commission’;
‘go and make disciples of all nations‘ (Matthew 28:19 NIV).
Are you prepared to live like Jesus died, to give hope to all? We know that Jesus lives and will return.
‘I know that my redeemer lives’ (Job 19:25 NIV).
‘He has risen, He has risen, Jesus is alive‘ (G. Coates, N. & T. Richards)
Who am I? That the Lord of all the earth,
Would care to know my name, would care to feel my hurt.
Who am I? That the bright and morning star,
Would choose to light the way, of my ever changing heart.
Not because of who I am, but because of what You’ve done,
Not because of what I’ve done, but because of who You are.
I am a flower quickly fading, here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean, and vapour in the wind.
Still you hear me when I’m calling, Lord, You catch me when I’m falling,
And You’ve told me who I am, I am Yours, I am Yours.
Who am I? That the eyes that see my sin,
Would look on me with love, and watch me rise again.
Who am I? That the voice that calmed the sea,
Would call out through the rain, and calm the storm in me.
Who Am I
Mark Hall (Casting Crowns)
Father, we thank you that you sent your Son to die for us. We realise that we do not deserve the free gifts of grace and mercy that you give us day by day, but we recognise that we desperately need them. Lord without Jesus we know that there is no hope. Help us to cling to the vine, and help us to look to you for everything. Help us to be open to your guidance and teaching. Help us we pray.