That Friday seemed anything but good. Jesus was arrested. Falsely accused. Flogged. Ridiculed. Denied by His own friends. He hung cruciform on the Cross until He could take no more.
“When Jesus had received the wine, he said, ‘It is finished.’ Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” (John 19:30 NRSV)
IT IS FINISHED.
All of it.
Not just the life of Jesus in human form. Not just His purpose here on earth. But all of it.
Finished is the pain. Finished is the suffering. Finished is the fear, the guilt, the shame, the depression, the temptation, the sin, sickness, and disease. Finished is the punishment that our wayward lives deserve.
He left it ALL there on the Cross.
It is ALL finished.
We are Peter. Willing to cut off ears and go to prison for our faith one minute and denying Him the next. Jesus knows. Jesus died for it. God forgave it. IT IS FINISHED.
We are Simon of Cyrene. Carrying the Cross of Christ, a heavy burden to bear, while our children watch. Our sacrifices are both noted and unnecessary. For it is by grace we have been saved through faith, not by earning our way into His good graces. IT IS FINISHED.
We are John. Christ’s beloved. His best friend. Caring for Jesus’ mother as our own each time we choose to love our neighbor as ourselves. Yet even failing at love – His one command – does not disqualify us from being loved by Him. IT IS FINISHED.
We are Martha. Uniquely gifted with a purpose for this life. For her, hospitality. For you, farming or teaching or accounting or preaching or parenting or nursing. Tempted by jealousy of others’ gifts – why does she get to sit while I have to work; why does he get promoted while I go unnoticed.
Yet nothing can separate us from God’s love – not even burying our talents or putting our energy into wrong things or doubting our significance – because separation died on that Cross with Jesus. IT IS FINISHED.
We are the sinful woman. Who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears.
We are Paul. Who wasn’t even there.
We are the naked guy in the garden. Who was there but I’m not sure why.
We are the criminals. Crucified next to Christ.
We are Barabbas. Jesus is our substitute. He took our place on the Cross.
IT IS FINISHED.
All of it.
Not just the earthly life of Jesus in human form. Not just His purpose. Not just one purpose. But all of it.
All of our successes. All of our mistakes.
All of our shame. All of our pride.
All of our woundedness.
All of our dysfunctions and addictions and fears.
Anything and everything that could stand between us and the love of the Father was crucified with Christ on that Cross when Jesus spoke those final words: IT IS FINISHED.
Whatever you are holding on to, whatever is holding you back, whatever is weighing you down, take it to the Cross on Good Friday and leave it there. Do not pick it up again on Sunday. The only thing waiting for you on Sunday is an empty tomb.
The guilt is no longer there. The shame is no longer there. The addiction is no longer there. The temptation is no longer there. The doubt is no longer there.
There is only one thing inside that empty tomb: LOVE.
To ALL the rest say with Jesus: IT IS FINISHED.
Katie Ubry-Terrell is a member of the Religious Society of Friends/Quakers and serves as Coordinator for the Wilmington Yearly Meeting.
This weekly column is provided to the News Journal on a monthly rotation basis by members of the Wilmington Area Ministerial Association.