Completion; April 16, 2022


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.

We can imagine the incredible degree of relief Jesus must have felt in making this statement. The Japanese does a little better than the English in making it clear this isn’t just “over,” but “completed.” Jesus had fulfilled His commission, and He had done it perfectly. Less than 24 hours earlier He had literally been sweating blood over the anticipation of the events to follow, but He hadn’t faltered, and had done it all. What an absolutely magnificent example! We tend to back out of difficult circumstances, but Jesus went right on through, for our sake. Too often we are satisfied with an “almost,” but Jesus held absolutely nothing back. He is the ultimate example of the faithful servant in the parable He Himself told, who made full use of the things he had been provided. (Matthew 25:21) In thinking of that parable, however, we must remember that two servants received the same accolade, even though they had been given different amounts. No two people have exactly the same commission, so it is very dangerous to compare one person with another. The question is always whether we have done what God wanted us to do, and as I said, that is different for every person on earth, however many things we might have in common. We all need to aim to be able to say with Paul, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteous­ness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day–and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:7-8)

This of course applies to me, as it does to everyone. I’ve already outlived my father by over nine years, and I have no idea how much longer my Lord will keep me here – but then, no one does. My task is to be faithful each moment, for however many moments my Lord wants me here. I want to be able to join Paul in his affirmation! Tomorrow is Resurrection Sunday, and I will have multiple opportunities to share the Gospel in different ways with different groups. I am to rejoice in the occasion and the opportunity, not relying on my own ability but at the same time not holding anything back from whatever my Lord wants to do with it through me. The point is never my glory or satisfaction, but that of my Lord. I too desire to hear those words: “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for Wayne Cordeiro’s honest testimony the other day in the Zoom call. May I not set false goals for myself, but rather recognize what You have for me to do and do it with everything I have and am, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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