The Finality of the Cross

Rev. Eric Brown

"It is finished," and He bowed His head and gave up His Spirit. -- John 19:30

"It is finished." These are some of the most profound words in the entirety of Scripture. They are also some of the most difficult to believe. They are the words our sinful flesh hates above all others. The cry of the sinful flesh is, "Finished? It's not finished until I say it is finished!" My grudge against my neighbor: How dare You say it is finished!

My pet sins that I happen to enjoy: How dare You say it is finished!
The disdain I have for "those" people: How dare You say it is finished!
The guilt I that want to cling to: How dare You say it is finished!
My feeling sorry for myself: How dare You say it is finished!
The pride I feel in my "good" works: How dare You say it is finished!
My holier--than--thou attitude: How dare You say it is finished!
My quest to prove how great I am: How dare You say it is finished!

Yes, at the Cross, Jesus said it is finished. Even all of the silly, vain things we cling to as sinners. All our wickedness--whether it's the blatant evil we do, or the junk we cover up with a veneer of false righteousness -- Jesus says that's all done. Finished. It just died; it died with Me. I took all of that junk up from you and crucified it with Me. It's not yours anymore--it's Mine, and I say unto you, it is finished.

Of course, Jesus wasn't just finishing off sin. Yeah, He took away your sin, even your sins in which you trusted and delighted. But He was also finishing off a lot of other stuff.

Satan and his kingdom: It is finished.
Death and its powers: It is finished.
Your separation from God: It is finished.
Everything required for your salvation: It is finished.
Everything needed for forgiveness: It is finished.
Everything needed for life: It is finished.
Anything that you might have needed to do yourself: It is finished.

All of it. All done, all accomplished by Christ Jesus upon the Cross. And do you know what remains? John, told us part, and he tells us a few verses later: "But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water." When Jesus dies, when He declares, "It is finished" -- all that remains is Spirit, blood, and water. The Spirit of Jesus remains, and that Holy Spirit takes the Word and declares to you that Jesus has done it all for you. It is finished for you. The Body and Blood of Jesus are given to you under bread and wine, and all the benefits of that "It is finished" is given to you. And if you should ever doubt or wonder if it actually is finished for you, remember that the water that poured from His side has been poured upon your head in Holy Baptism, and no doubt or fear can change that fact. It is finished for you. Your sins have been washed away by Christ, and all that remains is the love and righteousness and life that He gives to you.

Eric Brown serves as pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church, Herscher, Illinois.

Created: March 25th, 2016