Ezra 1-2 John 19:23-42
“When Jesus tasted the vinegar, he said, “It is finished.” Then he bowed his head and died.” (John 19:30 NCV)
Three simple words in English, translate one word in the Greek. “It is finished.” Jesus came to earth to make reconciliation with God available for all people. He grew up, learned His earthy father’s trade, started teaching at the age of 30, traveled all over Israel and surrounding parts with the message of God’s love, and then, in a final act of obedience to His Heavenly Father, went to the cross and suffered an ignoble death on the cross. He did this for me. He did this for you. It was God’s plan to show His love for us. It was the blood of Christ, shed for our sins on the cross, to pay the penalty for our sin. It is finished. There are no more sacrifices needed to pay the penalty. There is nothing else we can do to gain God’s forgiveness. He, Himself, took on our burdens and when it was done, He told the world that it was finished.
These words are reminder to us that Jesus paid the full price so that we could have a relationship with God. There’s nothing we can do to add to that. We don’t come to God because Jesus died and we joined a church. We don’t have a relationship with God because Jesus died and we feed the hungry. We aren’t on God’s good side because Jesus died and we live exemplary lives. We have a relationship with God because Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. Because He paid the penalty and because our sins have been forgiven, things should change in our lives. We ought to want to get together with fellow believers and praise God together. We ought to want to deal with social needs by feeding the hungry and caring for the poor in other ways. We ought to want to live in a way that shows others that God has changed us. None of those are needed to establish our relationship with God, but they’re great signs that our relationship with God through Jesus Christ has made a difference in us. If we love God, we’ll want to show His love to others. If we don’t want to show God’s love to others, that should be a good reason to re-examine our relationship with God.
Lord, Jesus’s work was finished at the cross. I can’t do anything to add to it or to make You love me anymore. Give me the courage to share Your love with other people who need to know Your love and grace.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.