“It is finished”.
Three words, gasped from the wheezy lungs of a dying man.
The three most powerful words ever spoken.
I’ve been thinking about those words this week, in the run up to Easter. Easter or ‘the resurrection holiday’ is my most favourite time of year. The solemn quiet of Good Friday with the incredible lightness and freedom of Easter Sunday morning, make for me, a pretty huge weekend. There’s just something about the cross, the love, the humiliation, the tears, the willingness, that makes me cry every time.
Many can look on and understand logically how horrific it must have been, but for me, it digs something up and I’m not quite sure what. I know that in the mix of all the emotions though, gratitude plays a big part.
You see, when Jesus said, ‘it is finished’, he wasn’t just talking about his life and the brutal, asphyxiating end, he was talking about an end to the weariness of sin, the complex ritual of religion, the burden of pain and the human condition.
In those dying hours, all of hell, all that was evil, destructive and painful was slowly and methodically hammered into his hands and feet. The horror that Jesus experienced went way beyond the physical agony, it was the emotional blackness and the feeling for the first time in his life, that God had abandoned him.
As he looked evil in the face, knowing full well he could have called on God to save him at any time, he instead chose to stay, to fulfil God’s plan for humanity.
He stayed because he wanted to. When he cried out, ‘it is finished’, he was shouting out to humanity.
It is done. The divide between you and God is over. You can be free from the tyranny of sin, you don’t have to live in torment, in fear, in judgement.
It’s simply too big a concept for us to grasp, which is probably why this time of year (to me) feels so emotional.
Today, I’m overwhelmingly grateful for that day, the darkest day the world has ever known. But it was also the day, that something new began.