“When he had received the drink, Jesus said, ‘It is finished.’ With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit” (John 19:30, NIV).
Have you ever noticed the difficulty in finishing something… anything? Personally I can be a bit of a perfectionist, which means that if I can’t do something right, I’d rather not do it at all. This way of thinking often derails my best intentions to finish what I begin.
My issues with perfectionism first became evident during my childhood. I vividly remember working in my coloring book, stressing over my inability to stay within the lines of the figures on the page. Even as an adult, I tend to “color within the lines” of life. It’s unnatural for me to press against the boundaries, to ignore the clearly defined borders. And scribbling is most definitely out of the question!
Still, it’s important to remember that Jesus was not a perfectionist. He was, however, perfection. Jesus lived a life that knew no sin. And, although he rebelled against the laws of men, he never fell short in keeping God’s righteous commands. Jesus was perfection. And, at the same time, he was transgression. Clinging to a cross, he became “…sin for us…” (2 Corinthians 5:21, NIV) in order to take all sin to the grave. Jesus’ life and death freed us to live lives that are un-bordered by legality and the rigid constraints of the Law. And, while this is not an anything-goes type of freedom, Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross did assure us that our sin is covered by his grace.
I used to think that Jesus’ words from the cross “…‘It is finished’… ” (John 19:30, NIV) referred to Jesus’ dying body, an admission of defeat. Now, however, I understand that “…‘It is finished’… ” (John 19:30, NIV) means that everything that needed to be accomplished for our forgiveness was taken care of at the cross, and that these words are a declaration of victory on the part of Jesus.
…‘It is finished’… ” (John 19:30, NIV). The work of Jesus is done. But our work is not. What better time to share this gospel (“good news”) message with others.