Here we are at No.2 in my top 10 Bible verses. I agonised a lot over this, there are so many sections in the bible that speak so clearly about the impact, scale and earth shattering implications of Jesus’ death on the cross, but I went for this. It just had to be this.
02. “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and released his spirit. John 19:30
A man lived a simple a life, a carpenter by trade, skilled worker from a local community and family. He had no exceptional physical beauty that would attract anyone to him, no possessions, wealth or even a place to call his own. He studied, worked and remained a single man in the company of just a few close friends.
He began to travel when he turned 30, a message had burned itself into his heart and a mission that had been waiting in secret was finally being revealed.
When this man spoke, he had authority, when he taught he had unfathomable wisdom. The crowds gathered as this man began to show his full authority, even over the elements in life that we struggle to master: the spiritual world and its ugliness, the natural world and its raging seas and the physical world with life’s ailments and infirmities.
This simple man, with no physical beauty to attract us to him, no place to lay his head captivated the lives of thousands. He showed radical generosity, compassion and mercy alongside indignation at the corruption and manipulation of people.
This man spoke in parables, earthly stories with some sort of heavenly meaning, talked of a future to come of absolutes and a place that he knew of that wouldn’t ever spoil or fade. His closest friends heard even more about the meaning of these stories and started to write them down and record this man’s life and teaching.
He also said he could forgive sin, the mistakes and mess that for centuries only animal sacrifice could dissolve. But if he could forgive sin, that would mean he was God and God was unreachable not here on earth amongst us, flesh and blood. ‘This man can’t be allowed to go on living’ was the whisper that turned into a chant in the hearts of so many.
They took the man, not by force, because he didn’t fight or defend himself at all. They flogged him, beat him and dressed him as a fake god. Surrounded by ridicule and a jeering crowd, their whispers of death had been realised as this man was nailed to the cross. Lifted for all to see this man’s life draining away in the afternoon sun.
“It is finished” he cried, and with that HE released his spirit and died.
Fellas, this leaves you and me with a question. What was it he finished?
On that day that one man defeated death, it took 3 days for the world to see it, but it happened, death lost its sting and sin is no longer your master, Jesus is!