It is Finished! (And it really is.)

by Julie Zine Coleman @JulieZColeman

 “After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, to fulfill the Scripture, said, “I am thirsty.” A jar full of sour wine was standing there; so they put a sponge full of the sour wine upon a branch of hyssop and brought it up to His mouth. When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.” John 19:28-30 NASB

The day of my first book’s deadline, I was up until midnight, using every last second to check and double check my final draft before submitting to my publisher. Finally, my time was up. I dashed off a cover email and loaded the manuscript file as an attachment. But just before sending, I realized that it was now several minutes past midnight. So I added a quick tongue-in-cheek note to the email: “So sorry I am six minutes late with this manuscript.”

The vice president of Thomas Nelson replied, “We’re on Central time. You are actually fifty-four minutes early!”

It was a momentous moment for me, hitting that send button. With one click I was announcing a finished product. After six months of intense, consuming work, there was now nothing more to do until the edits came back to me. I woke up the next morning feeling a heavy burden had been lifted from my shoulders. What an immense relief to finally be done!

On this and every Good Friday, we remember the darkest day in history, when the Son of God suffered and died on the cross, bearing unspeakable agony and shame for the sake of us all. But now, in His final moments, knowing He had done what He had come to do, He uttered His final words: It is finished.

The original Greek word translated as “finished” denotes the carrying out of a task. An artist might have said Finished! to announce his painting was perfect. A servant might have confidently replied Finished! when asked by his master if his assigned work was complete. A judge might have said Finished! when issuing a ruling that a prison sentence had been completed and justice had been served. And finally, a merchant might have written Finished! on a bill to indicate a debt was paid in full. 

Jesus used the Greek verb tense that denoted a completed action that did not need to be repeated. Done, once and for all. Finished.

Jesus actually used this word three times during the 24 hours before and during his crucifixion.

While in prayer, as the Passover meal reached its conclusion, Jesus said, “I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which you have given me to do” John 17:4 NASB).  He had come to fulfill the Law. He came to do the Father’s will. He’d come to preach the kingdom. And finally, He’d sought out and saved the lost. As Jesus looked death in the face, he was satisfied He had done everything He came to do. His bucket list was complete.

He used the word again on the cross. “Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished to fulfill the Scripture, said, “I am thirsty” (John 19:28 NASB). There were over 300 prophecies, spanning thousands of years, that Jesus fulfilled in His lifetime. His coming fulfilled God’s promise of a messiah to the patriarchs, kings, and the nation. His acts and words were exactly what many prophets had foretold hundreds of years before.

Then finally, Jesus uttered that word one last time just before He gave up His Spirit: “It is finished!And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.” (John 19:28-30 NASB). The suffering was over. The wrath of God had been spent on Him. The sins of mankind had been nailed to the cross. His blood had paid the price once and for all.

The fact that Jesus used finished to describe His life and death should bring joy to every believer’s heart. Because of His completed work, no sin would ever stand between us and God again. Payment for us has been made in full. “But He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God…” (Hebrews 10:12 NASB). He sat down because there was nothing left to do.

And here’s the best news of all: Paul tells us that God has “raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places…” (Ephesians 2:6 NASB). We have already been seated, because there is nothing left for us to do, either. It is finished.

TWEETABLE
It is Finished! (And it really is.) – Insight from @JulieZColeman on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

Julie-Coleman-headshot-295x300About the authorJulie Coleman helps others to understand and know an unexpected God. A popular conference and retreat speaker, she holds an M.A. in biblical studies. Julie is the managing editor for Arise Daily. When she is not glaring at her computer, she spends time with her grandchildren, gardening, or walking her neurotic dog. More on Julie can be found at unexpectedgod.com and Facebook.

Does the Bible depict women as second-class citizens of the Kingdom? Jesus didn’t think so. Unexpected Love takes a revealing look at the encounters that Jesus had with women in the gospels. You will fall in love with the dynamic, beautiful, and unexpectedly personal Jesus.

Join the conversation: How does knowing the work of our salvation is already complete affect you in the here and now?

Are You Afraid of Missing Out?

by Debbie Wilson @DebbieWWilson

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.   Matt. 11:28 NIV 

My young friend ticked off the activities her family crammed into Christmas. They had more holiday traditions than the Okefenokee has mosquitoes. With the approach of a holiday, FOMO—Fear Of Missing Out—can hook the unsuspecting. We think more is…well, more, and less means—bless your heart; you missed out.

Someone defined busy as:

Being

Under

Satan’s

Yoke

How do we throw off this unholy bondage?

Come to Jesus.

 The first step is clear but not easy with a crowded schedule. Come to Jesus.

There’s a strong temptation when we are busy to lay aside our personal time with the Lord. All we have to do makes finding one-on-one time with Jesus feel impossible. But here’s the thing. Jesus wants the pleasure of your company. He will help you make time for Him.

This may require being flexible. But if you were young and in love, I’ll bet you’d squeeze in time for your sweetheart.

Sometimes I eat lunch with an open Bible or turn off the radio on my drive to work so I can converse with Jesus or listen to a Bible app. The time of quiet reflection refreshes my faith and recalibrates my focus.

If a time of busyness is hampering time with Jesus, ask Him to help. Look at your calendar and schedule time for Him.

Bring Him Your Burdens.

Jesus invites the “weary and burdened” to unload on Him. A burden is anything that weighs you down.

One season my responsibilities crushed me. Not only did I have holiday baking and gifts to buy, wrap, and mail, I had to prepare a workshop for the week after Christmas. One afternoon, I wrote down every crushing burden, then I pictured handing them to Jesus. The process alone lifted my spirit. But what happened next astounded me.

That afternoon an appointment unexpectedly canceled. I zipped to a nearby mall. It was like an unseen guide directed me to just the right gifts for all my out-of-town family–in an hour. And the stores gift-wrapped!

Link and Learn.

 At the end of Jesus’ life, He prayed, “I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do” (Jn. 17:4 NIV).

What? Didn’t Jesus know about all the people who were still sick? What about those who hadn’t yet heard about Him? But notice–Jesus didn’t say, “I finished all the work.” He said He’d finished the work His Father had given Him.

How can we know the work He has for us each day? We come to Him and learn from Him. Then, when we feel pressured, we can say, “Today I only have to do what God wants me to do today.”

When we live in sync with Jesus, we not only find rest for our souls, we glorify our Father. And dwelling in His presence brings us peace.

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Are You Afraid of Missing Out? – insight from @DebbieWWilson on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

debbie wilsonAbout the author: Drawing from her walk with Christ, and years as a Christian counselor, coach, and Bible teacher, Debbie W. Wilson helps women give themselves a break so they can enjoy fruitful and grace-filled lives. She is the author of Little Women, Big God and Give Yourself a Break. Her latest book, Little Faith, Big God, is to be released February 2020. She and her husband Larry founded and run Lighthouse Ministries, a nonprofit counseling, coaching, and Bible study ministry. She is an AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association) certified speaking and writing coach. Debbie enjoys a good mystery, dark chocolate, and the antics of her two standard poodles. Refresh your faith with free resources at debbieWwilson.com.

Join the conversation: Do you struggle with being overwhelmed by your to-do list?