“It is finished”, the words that brought to completion the mission of Jesus Christ on this earth. He was minutes away from dying, and the pain and agony he felt must have been unimaginable, yet He gathers the strength to speak these last words. Why?
When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. Read more.
I’d never really given these words much thought before, but I had a revelation last week that has changed that. Let me explain.
Picture me, Maundy Thursday, struggling with a migraine and intense neck pain all day! Every now and again I experience these debilitating bouts of pain that seriously impair my ability to function and I feel weak. As I struggled to get through my tasks for the day, I remember telling God– “I know that of all the times that I need to have faith to believe for healing, this week should be my most faith-filled, as I ponder the power of your death and resurrection. So why am I struggling to overcome this pain?”
I went to bed that night with no change in my symptoms, despite taking pain medication.
Later that night, at about 4 am, I woke up with really bad pain and had to get out of bed and walk around to distract myself. I woke my husband up and told him my struggle and he prayed for me. As he prayed, the same thought went through my mind, “why don’t I have enough faith to fight this pain, and of all times Easter week?! Why is this happening? Lord, I can’t bear it!”
Finally, settled on the living room couch in an elevated position, I had closed my eyes to try and go back to sleep, when things got interesting! I heard a voice saying, “It is finished.”
I immediately turned around because I thought it was my husband, but he wasn’t there! I must admit, I was momentarily confused and afraid, a hundred possibilities running through my mind in split seconds. I thought I was hallucinating because of the pain, but there was no denying that I had heard a voice other than my husbands. My heart skipped a beat, but I was in pain and brushed it off as my imagination. Strangely, I almost immediately fell asleep.
When I woke up the next morning, my first thoughts were the memory of being involved in deep praise and worship as I slept. I vividly recall being aware of how spontaneous and articulate my worship was, though I couldn’t remember the words. I thought, “how odd that in the midst of the struggle, I was worshipping in my sleep and in the Spirit! Is this even possible?” It’s not as if one can plan spontaneous worship for later in ones dreams! Moreover, worship and praise were furthest from my mind while struggling with the pain. Moments later I recalled what had happened a few hours ago and it suddenly dawned on me that I’d had to have heard the voice of Jesus. These happenings were more than a coincidence! Imagine this! On the very day we remember the death of Jesus, He was comforting and encouraging me with the very phrase He spoke at the moment he died! It is finished.
It’s funny how a few words spoken in the agony of death can become so deep and meaningful to somebody more than 2000 years after they were first spoken. What a reminder of the finished work of Jesus on the cross. So life-giving!
It’s taken me more than a week to recount this to you, dear Reader, but I knew I had to take my time and ponder this precious encounter, and as the entirely of its meaning revealed itself to me, I felt a deep shalom within me. To know that Jesus, the great God who created this Universe knows every detail of our lives. That He makes Himself known to us in our deepest struggle, giving us the very thing we need to get through that struggle. That He brings to us the gift of a deeper knowledge of what it means to belong to the One who gave His life for us. Who shed His blood and His body so that you and I have dominion over sickness, disease and sin.
We all have things in our lives that create chaos within us, whether that is sickness, difficult situations, sin or anything else, but as Hebrews 12: 1,2,12 rightly says:
1 As for us, we have all of these great witnesses who encircle us like clouds. So we must let go of every wound that has pierced us and the sin we so easily fall into. Then we will be able to run life’s marathon race with passion and determination, for the path has been already marked out before us.
2 We look away from the natural realm and we focus our attention and expectation onto Jesus who birthed faith within us and who leads us forward into faith’s perfection. His example is this: Because his heart was focused on the joy of knowing that you would be his, he endured the agony of the cross and conquered its humiliation, and now sits exalted at the right hand of the throne of God!
12 So be made strong even in your weakness by lifting up your tired hands in prayer and worship. And strengthen your weak knees, for as you keep walking forward on God’s paths all your stumbling ways will be divinely healed!
I love these verses– they speak so much wisdom and truth. I would like to leave you with some encouraging thoughts and an identity card mobile wallpaper to remind you of the hope you have.
When you are going through moments that fill you with fear, pain, suffering, hopelessness and question marks, think of the Hebrew word shalom. Remember that in and through Jesus, you have been provided with shalom– all that is needed to be whole and complete and break off all the authority that attempts to bind you to chaos.
Worship & Pray
As Hebrews 12:12 says, in the midst of the struggle, inspite of having no strength or motivation for anything, make it a habit to lift up your tired hands and body in worship and prayer. When these things becomes a habit, your Spirit will commune with the Holy Spirit (even when you sleep), and you will strengthened with the knowledge that joy comes in the morning.
In Hebrews 12:13 it says to keep walking forward on God’s paths a.k.a the Path Of Truth, and you will be strengthened, energized and divinely healed! So don’t give up my friend! The only one who knows every detail of your life is right there with you.
In Him it is finished.
In the days following this encounter, I had hoped I was completely healed, but the pain returned. When it did, I realized I have a choice. I can choose to be disappointed and depressed and suffer through the pain, or I can choose to build my faith on Jesus and the finished work on the cross and keep pressing forward in my trust and hope in the God who understands my struggle, is there to comfort me when I need it and is perfecting my faith through the struggle. Basically choosing between going through the struggle alone versus having a friend to share it with me. I choose my friend Jesus– obvi!
So many people I know are going through difficult times in different ways. Are you going through a tough time too? There may not be anything that even the person you are closest to can say or do to make you feel better or give you the answer, but don’t forget Jesus because He is THE ANSWER to everything and He is saying to us today, “It is finished.“