Friday, April 18, 2014

It is Finished - Lenten Journey Day 39 Devotional - April 18, 2014

“It is finished.” – John 19:30

Holy Friday.

The final words of Jesus, “it is finished”, were actually the Greek word “teleo”. Teleo was the same word used when a servant returned to their master after completing a work.  It was a way of reporting, “I have completed the task assigned to me.” 

Jesus was proclaiming, ”mission accomplished.”

What was that mission?

Our redemption.

For if, while we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son… – Romans 5:10

While we were still at war with the One who created us, God reached out to us.  Through His son, He sent a blood stained love letter to you and I that said,

"I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself…” – Jeremiah 31:3

It is a love letter I feel so unworthy to have addressed to me.  There is nothing that I did to earn it.  Yet, His perfect love endured Hell to send it to me.

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  - 1 John 4:10

Debt paid in full.

When something is paid in full, there is nothing left.  No remaining balance.

And since the Enemy has no more power over the spiritual bank account of Christ’s followers, his strategy is to make us forget. 

Without a relationship with Christ, we spend our lives working to find fulfillment, success, worth, forgiveness, approval, peace, and happiness in worldly things.  We wear ourselves out working to earn what has been freely given to us and end up double-paying a debt.

Christ paid your debt in full.

When something is full, there is nothing you can add to it.
So you can relax and stop trying.
There is nothing you can add to Christ perfect work on the Cross.

So what can you do?

Accept it.

That’s what we do when we open God’s love letter and say “Yes” to Jesus Christ.

And when we do that, we say yes to His completed work and all the victory that comes along with it.

You can now turn to every challenge and obstacle and know that Christ has given you the authority to say, “it is finished!”

Sickness. Finished.
Lack. Finished.
Depression. Finished.
Fear. Finished.
Addictions. Finished.
Low self-esteem. Finished.
Generational and family curses. Finished.

With Christ’s death, the deed for your life was returned to your Father and He has given you a new heritage; a legacy of victory with a promise of eternal and abundant life.

Today, during Good Friday service we got the opportunity to nail some of our burdens to crosses lying throughout the worship center.  By the end, hundreds and hundreds of papers decorated the crosses. 

It’s good to have these moments of reflection.  But, in truth, all those things we nailed today were nailed to The Cross over two thousand years ago.  We just need to be reminded every once in a while.

While serving communion today and holding the chalice in my hand, an older woman approached.  As she dipped her bread (the body) into the juice (the blood), I spoke a blessing over her.  She looked at me with teary eyes and I could see she needed the reminder.  “You’re forgiven,” I smiled.  She reached up and put her arm around me to pull me close for an embrace. 

Every stage and every age, we all need the reminder. 

Today I am reminding you that because of the Cross, you are forgiven.  You are loved.  You are victorious.  Even the gates of Hell cannot prevail against you because Jesus paid it all.  On this Holy Friday, this Good Friday….this GREAT FRIDAY may you meditate on this truth.  I hope it gives you peace about your past, gladness in your present, and excitement about your future.

Truly T.G.I.F. (Thank God I'm Forgiven)!!

Let’s pray:  Lord Jesus, the most perfect Lamb of God and Prince of Peace.  As I reflect on Your love for me and Your precious blood shed for my redemption, I look to the Cross and find hope.  I look to the Cross and find freedom, for it says in John 8:36 “so if the Son sets you free, you are truly free!”  As I look to You for hope, I pray that this truth resonates with others this Easter weekend.  My family, friends, and even those I don’t know; all who will walk through church and chapel doors this weekend searching for answers.  Open their spiritual ears and their hearts to receive Your grace.  Let them receive your forgiveness.  You paid it all and because of that we are free.  In Jesus name, Amen!

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