John 19:28-30 “Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, ‘I am thirsty.’ A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, ‘It is finished.’ With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”
John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
In Denmark, this day is called Long Friday, an apt name for the dreadful hours between sunset and sunrise centuries ago. Jesus was brutally murdered between two convicts. He was tortured. There were dark skies, earthquakes and torn veils. This was the one time the God of the universe walked the earth in human form and we killed him.
In many places, this day is referred to as Good Friday. Have you ever wondered why such a horrific day in history would be called “Good”? It's called Good Friday because of Jesus' last words on the cross before dying: “It is finished.” His worst day became our best day. His suffering and sacrifice made it possible for us to experience freedom and forgiveness. The battle was won and victory was secured.
Remember these words in your darkest nights when nightmares and migraines keep you from sleep, when car crashes and hospital bills make you worry, when sin and shame fill you with regret. “It is finished.” When everything seems to be falling apart – physically, emotionally, vocationally, relationally – remember Christ took it all upon himself that first Good Friday. He knew we would have trouble and trials, and on the night before he died Jesus said, “But take heart! I have overcome.” He finished the work he came to accomplish.
Today when the stress and worries creep up on you, remind yourself that “It is finished.” As you ponder and embrace Good Friday and get ready to proclaim “He is Risen!,” be grateful.
Jesus, thank you for paying the price on that Good Friday many years ago. Thank you for dying a sinners death to take on the punishment I deserved. You paid it all so I could be free. I am so grateful. In Jesus’ name, Amen.