“It is Finished”
Part 3 – The Easter Series
The following writing contains explicit expressions, as it relates to the crucifixion suffered by Christ. While discomforting, the brutal reality of sins penalty reveals the wondrous depths of God’s love for us.
Knowing his fate, he entered the garden. It was there in a place of fellowship with God that his communion with man would come to an end.
Soldiers came. Close friends fled his side. The time had come. The road to death and sacrifice was before him. Reluctant in the flesh, yet eager and willing in the spirit, he cried to God, “Not as I will, but as you will.” Once begun, there would be no release. The penalty of sin would be brutal-this journey to death would move quickly and would be one he must travel alone.
With clothes rent, he was tied to a post. There, his back was torn. The rhythmic count of the whip lashing was the only sound to be heard above the bloodthirsty cries of the crowd.
No justification for this torture, Pilate washed his hands. The crowd chanted as Barabbas, the most notorious of sinners, was released from the bonds of eternal punishment, an exchange for the life of the spotless Lamb of God. He was led to the slaughter, innocent in the hands of brutal soldiers. He was mocked, humiliated, stripped naked for all to see.
Upon his arrival to earth, wise men honored him with treasure; upon his death, blinded fools would crown him with thorns.
The very same mouth that had spoken words of life and taught mortals the ways of a righteous God was mockingly slapped and punched. Lips that had once spoken to the storms saying, “Peace, be still,” were now swollen shut from the hatred of sin’s fury. This man, who called Lazarus back to life, would now be silent unto death.
Dusty roads, once filled with the feet of those running to see his miracles, would become crowded with those seeking his death. On his knees he fell, the cross heavy upon his back. The dry dirt beneath him quickly gathered up precious drops of blood and sweat, yet remained thirsty for more.
There, at the height of a hill for all to see, it would happen, this spectacle of shame. In a demonstration like no other, the very Son of God would be murdered at the hands of his own creation.
Fighting the urge to resist, he willingly lay upon a cross. He stared through swollen eyes at the face of the one who swung the hammer. His hand helplessly, painfully clenched the very nail that pierced it. The deafening sound of the striking hammer filled his ears-ears that had once heard the sounds of happy children playing, had once heard the laughter of joys shared with his disciples.
His body convulsed, and his lungs rapidly fought for air as the cross was lifted into place. Though in pain beyond measure, he was still very much aware. He overheard the scoffs and whispers of the onlookers. He heard the soldiers as they jokingly gambled for the robe of this supposed “King of the Jews.”
His fears and expectations had been greatly exceeded. The sting of death was overwhelming. His muscles cramped from dehydration as he helplessly fought to find a position that would bring the slightest bit of relief-it would not be found.
The muscles in his legs shook uncontrollably as the weight of his body rested upon the broad nail piercing his feet, eerily holding them in place. His mouth widened and gasped as if to ease the excruciating pain and show forth proof that life still remained within him.
Blood from his open wounds mixed with his pouring sweat, covering his entire body. He was unrecognizable. His bruised and swollen features no longer showed the beauty of the man seen feeding the hungry multitudes on a hillside. The face that once carried a warm smile was now gripped with the anguish of death. The torturous effects of each remaining moment were drawn out as time slowly passed.
His movements began to settle, except for the momentary convulsions and cries of pain. Death was finally approaching him as the drops of life-giving blood slowly began to cease.
His mind was flooded with human emotions and divine realities. At the height of a hill, raised above the onlooking crowds, he gazed over his creation with tear-filled eyes. The clouds grew dark, and the coming wind filled the air with dust. The crowd quickly dispersed at the sign of the incoming storm.
Looking down upon his body for the last time, he saw his purpose come to pass. Love’s journey had brought him here. Fighting to speak, he raised his head towards heaven and declared, “It is finished.”
As life quickly faded for one, it became available for all. Sin’s rightful penalty now hung lifeless upon that cross. The earth shook in acceptance, the veil of separation from God was torn, the gates of hell were invaded. Death found itself defenseless against the power of eternal life.
“Finished” was the penalty and bondage of sin. “Finished” was the separation of man from his beloved creator. Even today, the beautiful fragrance of life fills the air, as the resonating voice of Jesus can still be heard saying, “It is finished.”