Today’s reading: John 19:17-30

Jesus has been falsely accused, convicted, beaten severely, nailed to a cross, mocked relentlessly and left to die. This seems like a scene of defeat. Whoever Jesus claimed to be and whatever He came to accomplish, it looks like He’s failed. Even Jesus’ last words - “it is finished” - sound like giving up. But there’s more to this story ...

In the other eyewitness accounts of Jesus’s life – the books Matthew, Mark and Luke – we’re told that Jesus’s last words were a loud yell. Many scholars believe that “loud yell” was Jesus screaming the words John mentions here: “It is finished!” In other words, Jesus doesn’t whimper them in failure, He yells them in victory.

So what was finished? On days 11-12 we learned that innocent blood had to be shed to cover humanity’s sins, and that God said a “seed of Eve” would one day crush evil’s power. Ever since then, in Jewish culture, regular sacrifices of animals took place as a religious cleansing ritual. An animal would be slaughtered by the priest as the family offering the sacrifice watched, knowing that animal’s blood was spilt for their sins.

And then came Jesus. We’re told he lived a sinless life – he was the perfect sacrifice. And because the price of sin is death, Jesus died on the cross. But right before He died He screamed “it is finished!” What is finished? The separation between us and God, and the need for innocent blood to be shed. Through Jesus are sin was paid for once and for all. He did it so that we could have a relationship with God again – so we could “walk in the garden” with Him and not be ashamed.

Now what: Jesus died so we could be in relationship with God. If you’ve never done it before, talk to God and say something like this “God, I get that you became a human and died for me. I get that you paid the price for my sin. Thank you for doing that – if you love me that much, then from now on I want to live my life for you.” The Bible says that when you give your life to God, all of your sins – past, present and future – are paid for. Not only that, but you are able to be in right relationship with God, with no shame or guilt.

Want more? Philippians 2:5-11; John 3:16-17

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