John 19:30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
It is difficult for us to imagine the level of suffering Jesus experienced up until this moment. The physical suffering wasn’t unique to Him; torture is sadly common even today. However, Jesus was also experiencing the weight of mankind’s sins, which was something He had never experienced before, never having sinned. In the middle of all of that He prayed His famous prayer, recorded by Luke: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34) He also made the effort to provide for His mother, recorded in verses 26-27 just before this. It strikes me as interesting that He chose the youngest of the 12 to care for His mother, when society might have judged one of the more “mature” disciples as more suitable. However, Jesus knew hearts, just as He does today, and He chose John. The last mention we have of Mary is as part of the group that gathered in the upper room up until Pentecost, (Acts 1:14) but I think we can be confident that John fulfilled his charge well. After taking care of His mother, Jesus said, “That takes care of everything,” as it records here, and He died. He was laying down His life, as He had said He would do. “I lay down my life–only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.” (John 10:17-18) There was no other way it could happen, because He was the Son of God. That said, a Roman soldier latter confirmed it with a spear. (John 19:33-34) There is no question that the Son of God gave up His life to save us, and that changed the entire flow of history. We do well to meditate on this and let gratitude consume our souls. As the chorus says, “All that I have, all that I am, all I will ever be, cannot repay this love-debt I owe; I surrender to Thee.”
This of course applies to me as much as it does to anyone else, because my sins too cut me off from my Creator. My problem was that for many years I didn’t recognize that fact and I walked in blind pride, thinking I was one of the “good guys.” Without Christ, I am as much headed for hell as the worst murderer. When Jesus said, “It is finished,” He was talking about the dirty work of my salvation, not just that of “those people out there.” I have received this by faith and taste it every day, and I want everyone to do so as well. However, I can’t force anyone to repent and believe. All I can do is speak the truth in love and let the Holy Spirit use my words to work in people’s minds and hearts. He did it for me, and He can do it for them.
Father, the magnitude, the weight, of Your grace is beyond human words to express. As a man of words I keep trying, but it’s a lost cause! Help me live out my life in grateful response to Your grace, so that even one more person may look at me and realize that You love them too, and so repent and believe for their salvation. Thank You. Hallelujah!