Good Friday 2016 – ‘It Is Finished’

As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!” But Pilate answered, “You take him and crucify him. As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him.”

When Pilate heard this, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judge’s seatat a place known as the Stone Pavement (which in Aramaic is Gabbatha). It was the day of Preparation of the Passover; it was about noon. “Here is your king,” Pilate said to the Jews. But they shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!”

“Shall I crucify your king?” Pilate asked.

“We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests answered.

Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified.

– John 19:6; 13-16

Today is Good Friday. A day where Christians globally will be remembering, celebrating and (in some cases) mock reenacting the crucifixion of Christ.

Pilate found this man innocent. The one would should and did act as judge and the one who passed the sentence on those whom he judged guilty found Christ innocent.

It was the Chief Priests and the Officials (and the crowd) calling and insisting on the Crucifixion of Christ, not Pilate.

Pilate in handing Christ over to the Chief Priests condemned an innocent man, a man Pilate says he finds no basis for a charge.

It was this condemnation of an innocent man to the Cross that made a way for the greatest and most generous act that has occurred. The Crucifixion of Christ, the ultimate redeeming act. An act that permits a fallen, unworthy humanity to come before the gracious, good, loving Father that sent his Son to make a way.

One of the most beautiful moments of Christ’s life (in my opinion), can be seen on the Cross. Christ seeks three beautifully simple, but powerful words. He says ‘It is finished’. Nothing more need to be said. But with this proclamation Christ gave up his spirit. He died with the confession that ‘It is finished’.

When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

– John 19:30

Those three words are simple. ‘It is finished’. What a bold claim. Christ’s final recorded words prior to his death.

The beauty of these words is something to be grasped. ‘It is finished’. Christ’s death on the Cross accomplished the work of redeeming the world. The work of redemption is complete, but Christ’s work was not.

They are not words to be held onto lightly. They are not words to be undermined or undervalued. They are a simple three word proclamation that ‘It is finished’.

Today is Friday, Sunday is to come. (Cliché, I know. But the truth remains)

Prayer:

dio_london_prayer
This prayer was posted earlier on the Diocese of London twitter page. It is wonderfully apt for Good Friday and the remembrance of the Cross.

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