Grace For The Journey
For centuries, the children of Israel brought sacrifice after sacrifice to the Tabernacle and Temple to atone for their sins . . . until Good Friday. On this day the perfect Sacrifice went to the cross, willingly and without hesitation, to pay the price, once-for-all, for all of our sins. This was the great work Jesus accomplished on the cross.
The Bible says that the last thing Jesus said upon the cross was . . .
“It is finished!”
This signified the fact that the payment for sin had been achieved.
The great work of Good Friday is found in the fact that it is a finished work. What Jesus came to do He did do . . . and now it is finished. Never again will any payment or sacrifice be required, because payment was made in full. John the Baptist confirmed that, in God’s perfect plan of redemption, no other sacrifice would ever be needed to take away our sins when he said . . .
“Behold, the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29)
What a great announcement! There is no need to sacrifice any more goats, or bulls, or lambs, or pigeons. The perfect Lamb of God has shed His blood to cleanse us from all our sins. This is the truth every child of God experiences and enjoys the moment they place their trust in Christ’s sacrificial death.
The Great Work Of Good Friday Is A Finished Work.
There is nothing we can do to add to what Jesus has already done on our behalf. No penance . . . no performance . . . no persuasion. To be sure, the proud pharisaical heart that lies within each of us rises up against this truth. Surely there must be something we need to do – if not to get into heaven, at least to maintain our right standing! But I have emphasized since the beginning of this blog that the same grace that saves you is the same grace that sanctifies you. God did not save by His grace and power and then expect you to maintain your salvation through your own human strength (Philippians 2:13; Titus3:5).
Jesus willingly went to the cross for His people. The Bible tells us in John 10:17-18, “… I lay down My life, that I might take it again . . . No man takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again …”
Jesus did for us what we could never do for ourselves, and He did it because He wanted to do it. They did not drag Him kicking or screaming or fighting. When Jesus prayed from the cross on that Good Friday, “Father, into your hands I commit My spirit” (Luke 23:46), He made it clear that He was in complete control of everything that was going on. The voice of truth calmly spoke words of comfort and confidence as He willingly laid down His life for us and voluntarily gave up His life.
Bruce Marchiano, who portrayed Jesus Christ in the drama The Gospel According to Matthew, authored a book entitled, In The Footsteps of Jesus. In this book he recounts his experiences portraying our Lord. In a gripping passage about Christ’s unwavering determination to die on our behalf, Marchiano wrote, “It’s so vital a thing for us all to grasp: Jesus wasn’t forced to the cross – He chose the cross.”
And on that day, that most awful of days, He wasn’t dragged to the cross. He was crawling to the cross. His battered body was giving out on Him; He had little life remaining in Him; He was struggling against all odds … He had to make it to the cross … Fighting against the pain and struggling with everything He had … driving through indescribable pain and opposition to see the fulfillment of His mission …
And then … the victory cry … It is finished!
In the original text, it is translated from a single Greek word: “Tetelestai!” It is the triumphant pronouncement of heaven’s finest: “IT IS FINISHED!” I do not believe that our Lord gasped out His word; I am sure His voice thundered!
Matthew records in chapter 27 verses 51 and 54 some amazing events that happened immediately after this, “And, behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split . . . Now when the centurion, and those who were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, ‘Truly this was the Son of God!” (Matthew 27:51, 54)
The great work of Jesus Christ upon the cross on Good Friday is a finished work and a powerful work! It shows us that He cannot love us any more or any less. No matter how you perform, good or bad, you are secure in the finished work of Jesus Christ. It is done! It is finished! The debt is paid in full!
This is God Word For Today …This is Grace for your Journey
… Rest & Rejoice In The Wonderful Truth!