It Is Finished
Happy Good Friday! On Good Friday, we remember the death of Jesus Christ. So again, happy Good Friday! Does that sound strange? Wasn’t Good Friday the darkest day in human history? In one sense it certainly was. The greatest sins ever committed took place on that day:
- Jesus, the best man who ever lived was betrayed and denied by his closest friends and followers.
- Jesus, the only perfect man who ever lived had experienced the worst miscarriage of justice at the hands of the Jewish people, Herod, and Pontius Pilate.
- Jesus was mocked and scourged by the Romans.
- The eternal Son of God was hung on a cursed tree to die in the most brutal and tortuous way.
When it says that from noon to 3pm darkness was over the whole land (Luke 23:44), it seems as though the physical creation is responding to the spiritual darkness being displayed. So why is this happy? Well, on this side of Good Friday, we know that on the third day Jesus rose again – a very happy fact. But let’s focus on two other things that God was up to on Good Friday.
First, on a day when it appeared that darkness was overtaking the world and the power of evil were winning, God was accomplishing the ultimate triumph over all the powers of evil and darkness. When it seemed as though the world would be engulfed in darkness, God was working out his plan of salvation for the whole world.
In fact, the Devil, Judas, Pilate, Herod, the Jewish religious leaders, and the Roman soldiers were unwittingly accomplishing the God's plan from the very beginning. Listen to these amazing texts from the book of Acts:
“This Jesus, [was] delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.” ~ Acts 2:23
“For truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.” ~ Acts 4:27-28
That’s amazing! What happened was not ultimately a tragedy. It wasn’t darkness winning. It didn’t take God off guard. God was working out his plan through it all! Now to be sure, the disciples didn’t know it at the time, so they saw it as pure tragedy. But now we see and know – so happy Good Friday!
The second reason for the happy news of Good Friday is because of what Jesus Christ accomplished. There is no more powerful way to communicate this than with Jesus’s final words, “It is finished”. We will never plumb the depths of Christ’s accomplishment on the cross, so let’s just kneel down and fill our cup with this wonderful truth:
Jesus brings us near to God. Christ removes every obstacle because of our sin and God’s righteous wrath because of sin, and opens the door of paradise into God’s presence to all who will come through him (Christ).
Consider this. There is one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5). He became man to represent us to God, yet was fully God in order to represent God to us. His work on the cross as Mediator has brought us back to God forever!
This is seen in Matthew, when after his final cry, Jesus yields up his spirit. Then it says, “the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom” (Matthew 27:51). The curtain represented the separation between God and men. We couldn’t go there. But now with the finished work of Jesus on our behalf, we can. The curtain was torn from top to bottom, showing that this is something God did, not man!
Peter clearly speaks of this aspect of Christ’s work when he says, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us back to God” (1 Peter 3:18).
We could never do anything on your own to bring ourselves back to God. The chasm is too wide. The offense of our sin is too great. The height of God’s holiness is too high. But Jesus lived the life we should have but never could, died the death we should have but don’t want to. All of this Jesus did on our behalf, in order to bring us to God.
Through faith in Jesus Christ and his work on Good Friday, we have been brought home to God our good Father. Therefore, we all have access to the Father through Jesus in one Spirit (Ephesians 2:18).
Draw near to the Father with a heart of gratitude for Good Friday. It is finished!