It Is Finished!

Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture he said, I am thirsty. A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips. When Jesus had tasted it, he said, It is finished! Then he bowed his head and released his spirit. (John 19:28-30 NLT)

 It is such a joy to know that while in times of sorrow there is joy. Every detail of Jesus’ last day on this earth was full of sorrow because He was tortured and humiliated to the lowest degree. The joy that we as Christians are now experiencing comes about when Jesus shouted out “It is finished”. He did not just speak it as John 19:30 would lead you to believe but He shouted it out “It is finished” (see Matt. 27:50; Mark 15:37). What exactly was ‘finished’, have you ever taken a moment to think about Jesus’ last three words before He bowed His head in humility and give back His spirit to the Father?

Jesus came on this earth to fulfill one specific mission which was mentioned in Genesis 3: 15 ‘And I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel (NLT).’ This verse points to Christ as the vindicator of the woman (Rom 16:20) who will crush Satan’s head and this was accomplished at the cross. God crushed the Serpent’s (Satan) head through the bruising of His Son on the cross.

Jesus accomplished many other missions while here on earth which leads to the main mission. His other missions were preparation for the grand finally, His death. So what are some of the It’ that was now finished? Let’s dig deeper into the Scripture to identify some of them. Keep in mind that the ‘it’ are the works that God the Father sent Jesus to accomplish on earth. We will never be able to identify all of them because everything is not recorded in the Scriptures.

He obeyed the Father by being the perfect fulfillment of the Law of God and the prophesies regarding the Messiah (Matt 5:17).

  1. He did not come to bring peace on the earth but division. He made it clear that you are either with the one true God or against Him (Matt 10:34-36; Luke 12:51).
  2. He came in the name of the only true God and to perfectly do His will (John 5:43; 6:38).
  3. He came to perfectly do the works of His Father so people could understand that He and the Father were one (John 10:30, 37-38).
  4. He came as the light of the world, giving fallen mankind the opportunity to move from utter darkness into His marvelous light. He came to save people (John 12:46-48; 14:6).
  5. He came as fully God and fully man to be the incarnation of the truth of God (John 18:37).
  6. He came to make propitiation for our record of sin against God (Romans 3:21-26; Hebrews 2:14-18).
  7. He came to make reconciliation between God and man possible (Romans 5:6-11).
  8. He came to die for and to purify His Bride, the Church (Ephesians 5:25-27).
  9. He came to glorify His Father through His life, death, and resurrection (Philippians 2:5-11).
  10. He came to make a way, the only way, for people to find mercy, grace, and peace in time of need (Hebrews 4:14-16).

These are some of missions that God gave Jesus to accomplish and He finished all of His work, including the great exchange. A great exchanged took placed at the cross, Jesus paid the eternal sin debt of the world in full on the cross. So as we approached the celebration of Easter, let’s keep in mind that it’s not about the Easter bunny. It’s about the great price that Jesus paid on our behalf to free us from sin.

While on that cross, He could have drank the vinegar mixed with myrrh and gall to sedate the pain but He refused it (Matt 27:34; Mark 15:23) to stay alert and focus on the final mission  which was the most difficult one of all. Once He knew that His mission was completed, He drank the sour wine. This wine was different from the first one offered. The first wine was mixed with drugs and used as a sedative pain killer, while the sour wine would contract the throat muscles to keep Jesus from screaming loudly in pain. The bitterness of the wine would prolong the pain by extending the life of Jesus on the cross. He died a horrible death, so that we can have eternal life. Let’s never lose focus of the eternal debt He paid and always remember that ‘It is finished! 

 Missionary Judith Gilzene Moodie

Resources

  1. Borchert, Gerald L. 2002. The New American Commentary: John 12-21.
  2. Gangel, Kenneth O. 2000. Holman New Testament Commentary: John.
  3. Mathews, Kenneth A. 1996. The New American Commentary: Genesis 1-11:26.
  4. McFadyen, Phillip. 1998. Opening Door on John, A Gospel for Our Time.
  5. Miano, Tony. It Is Finished! Jesus Does Not Need Your Help. Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry. http// www.carm.org
  6. Robertson, Archibald Thomas. 1930. Word Pictures In The New Testament.

The Holy Spirit

15 If you love me, obey* my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate,* who will never leave you. 17 He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isnt looking for him and doesnt recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.* 18 No, I will not abandon you as orphansI will come to you. 26 But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representativethat is, the Holy Spirithe will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you. 27 I am leaving you with a giftpeace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So dont be troubled or afraid. 28 Remember what I told you: I am going away, but I will come back to you again. If you really loved me, you would be happy that I am going to the Father, who is greater than I am. 29 I have told you these things before they happen so that when they do happen, you will believe. 30 I dont have much more time to talk to you, because the ruler of this world approaches. He has no power over me. (John 14:15-18, 26-30 KJV)

 As we are about to celebrate Easter in the next few days, we should reflect back on the sacrifice Jesus Christ has made on our behalf. He paid the price we could not paid by dying on Calvary’s cross for our sins. God loves us so much that He sent His only Son into this dying world to die in our place. Have you ever taken a moment to consider how God felt seeing His only Son beaten, thorns on His head, hands and feet nailed to a cross, and His side pierced by a sword? We should also take into consideration that God saw them giving His Son vinegar instead of water when He thirst. The crowds laughed at Him, spat upon Him, and shouted insults upon the Messiah.

Many of us would not voluntary give our only child to die in the place of someone else. We would refuse in a minute.  But God, in His infinite wisdom, knew that it was necessary for Jesus to die for us. He knew that only Jesus’ blood could wash away the sins of the world. He was the only one without sin that could be offer up as a holy sacrifice. We should never think that Christ’s death on the cross was in vain. If Christ did not die, we could not have had the privilege of the Holy Spirit that Jesus promised would come after He leaves.

As Christians, we should desire more of God’s presence in our lives. It is not good enough to taste a little of His presence but we should seek to get a deeper and richer relationship with Him. We should always keep in mind that Jesus died so we can have life and have it more abundantly. We should seek to have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit within. It is not good enough to have the Holy Spirit with you; you need that power in you to live right and to be an effective witness for Christ.

During the Old Testament period, the Spirit of God would come upon individuals to perform a service, and then He would leave that person. The Holy Spirit at that time did not reside in an individual because Christ did not die yet. In John 16, Jesus told His disciples that it was necessary for Him to leave them, in order that the Comforter can come and dwell in them. We serve such an awesome God that is concerned with every aspect of our lives.

He went to Calvary’s cross so that we will not only have the Spirit of God with us but most of all He will be residing in us. Just think for a moment – that means Jesus is living in us. He is not just beside us but actually living inside of us. The best example of this would be a mother with a child inside her, while that child is in her womb she nurtures that child by eating the correct food, rubbing her tummy, and talking to her tummy. She spends time nurturing and communicating with her unborn child so the child can feel her love.

If a biological mother can do that for her child, what about us who have the Creator of heaven and earth dwelling inside of us? We should spend time nurturing and communicating with Jesus. We should not allow any unclean things in our lives because our bodies are the temple of Christ (as long as you receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit as describe in Act 2:4, you have the Holy Spirit dwelling inside you . If a Christian has not yet received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, then you have the Holy Spirit beside you).

The Holy Spirit is present in our lives to teach and direct us into the right path. He is also our Advocate. The word ‘Advocate’ means ‘a person who pleads the cause of another in a court of law’. The fact that we have the ‘Advocate- our lawyer’ living inside of us permanently, we will always win. Jesus has never lost a case and He will never lose a case! We need to understand that we have The Lawyer of lawyers in us and no matter what charges or case Satan presents before the Judge (God), he will not win because we have the greatest Advocate fighting on our behalf.

Missionary Judith Gilzene Moodie

Trust God Exclusively

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Proverbs 3:5,6 KJV).

“Just trust God, He will come through for you.” has been a phrase, I’m sure, someone has said to you before for encouragement. For some of us, we have heard it so many times now it sounds like a church cliché. But in reality, we should trust in the Lord with all of our heart. It is not good enough for us to trust God half way and hold on to the other half to work it out for ourselves. Many of us mess up what God has for us because we get impatient. We have to be careful not to make decisions when we are frustrated with life or the circumstances around us.

If Jesus is our Great Shepherd who cares and loves us unconditionally, that means He has our best interest at his heart. When the circumstances in our lives seem dark, that is not the time to trust our heart to make decisions. It is important for us to lean and trust in the Lord and not depend solely on our understanding. Depending on our understanding of the situation will only bring more chaos. When we lean on Jesus for direction and guidance, we will never go wrong. Whatever we do in life, we should always acknowledge the Creator. Failure to acknowledge the Creator, who is Sovereign, in everything we do, is like slapping Him in the face.

There are three ways in which we can trust God that is mentioned in Proverbs 3:5, 6

  1. Trust God Entirely- with all of thine heart. God demands an undivided commitment to Himself.
  2. Trust God Exclusively- and lean not unto thine own understanding. Many people make crucial decisions in their lives base on how they feel and not on the Word of God for guidance.
  3. Trust God Extensively-‘in all thy ways acknowledge him’. We should trust God in every aspect of our lives, whether it is small or big. He should be Lord over all parts of our lives because He is Sovereign.

To enjoy the Christian walk with Jesus and be blessed, it’s important to trust Him. When we trust God, we are allowing Him to direct our path and make it straight for success. We will never make it in this sinful world without trusting Him. It is very easy to lose hope in our society, to become a victim of depression or suicide. It is imperative for us to learn how to trust Jesus with every aspect of our lives.

Missionary Judith Gilzene Moodie

Resource

Newheiser, Jim. 2008. Opening up Proverbs. Day One Publications.

The Lord Is My Shepherd (Part 2)

Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anoinest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. (Psalm 23:4-6 KJV)

Last week, we focused on Jesus, who is the Great Shepherd. He is always ready to forgive and restore us when we sin. In verses 1 – 3, we are reminded that there is safety, security, refreshment, forgiveness, renewal, restoration, direction, and guidance in Jesus. All we have to do is repent of our sins and accept Christ as our personal Lord and Savior.

In Psalm 23:4-6, Jesus is not only portrayed as The Great Shepherd but also as a host. When we are facing difficult circumstances or trails in our lives, we have the assurance that Jesus is with us. He has never abandoned us, nor will He. The enemy loves to use fear on the children of God to cause us to doubt God’s promises.

David reminds us that even though the situation appears to lead to death, we should not fear because God is with us. We should keep in mind that it’s only a shadow, not death. A dark shadow can be very frightful and we may think it’s going to harm us but it has no power to bring us harm. Henry T. Mahan writes: ‘… Christ has removed the substance of death and only a shadow remains’. That means it will not lead to physical death.

Shepherd’s used their rod to fight and kill predators that come to bring harm to the sheep. Jesus does the same in our lives. He is there to fight our battles for us as long as we hand it over to Him. Just as the shepherds use their staff to round up the sheep and guide them along the way so that they do not stray. Jesus is there to protect us from the hands of the enemy and disciples us when necessary so that we do not stray.

It is very important to keep in mind that Jesus considers us as His friends. It was customary in biblical times when a guest entered a home, the host would anoint the guest’s head with oil and give them the best choice wine.  Jesus loves us so much that he desires each of his children to enjoy the feast which he has prepared. He desires that we receive and enjoy the overflow of abundant blessings he has promised. The only ways we can receive and enjoy these privileges is to obey God’s Word and love each other as Christ loves us. He loved us so much that He died on our behalf.

Missionary Judith A. Gilzene Moodie

Resources:

  1. Ellsworth, Roger. 2006. Opening Up Psalms
  2. Jamieson, Robert; Fausset, A.R.; and Brown, David. 1871. Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible
  3. Mahan, Henry T. 2007. With New Testament Eyes vol. 1