After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfil the scripture), ‘I am thirsty.’ A jar full of sour wine was standing there. So they put a sponge full of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the wine, he said, ‘It is finished.’ Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. (John 19:28-30)
“It is finished.” When I say this, I generally mean, “I have done all that I can, God. I am turning this big ugly mess over to you!” But, do you suppose that is what Jesus meant? Hanging on the cross, after a gruesome few days of betrayal, pain and public humiliation, one could assume that Jesus was making a declaration of defeat, frustration and despair. However, in Aramaic, the language in which the Bible was originally written, the phrase “it is finished” translates to “completed” or “done”. That tells us that Jesus was neither resigned nor overcome but perhaps joyful. Although it is hard for us to see the victory for Jesus in this moment of suffering, he was triumphant in the fulfillment of God’s plan for his time on earth.
I am not a Bible scholar and frequently get lost in the maze of interpretations of God’s word. What is obvious, even to me, in the journey of Jesus’ life is the love that God has for us – and, his desire for us to share that love. Sounds elementary, doesn’t it?
Dear God, I give thanks for the gift of your son and the love that you have for each of us. Open our minds to the plans that you have for us and guide us to live your word. Amen.
Kyttie Sanford — Hopeful for our world