It Is Finished
Day 1: Read Isaiah 53 and consider Jesus reading these words that were written 700 years earlier. Why is this Friday called Good Friday? Why not Bad Friday or Good Sunday? Jesus had been given a purpose. He was to leave His throne, to come into our world, to walk this earth, to complete a mission. His mission would include pain, hurt, trial, betrayal and ultimately death. When God created Adam, was there a moment in heaven between God the Father and Jesus (Son), when they looked at each other with an understanding of what this meant, of all that was to come? Creation. Man’s sin that would affect all of humanity and creation including you and me. Thus, the need for a Savior - a position, a mission only Jesus could fulfill. As a human, at what point did Jesus know and realize his purpose? Is there a point in your life that you realized you are sinner charting your own way? As you reflect on your life today, are there instances or attitudes you can point to where you are seeking to lead your own way?
Day 2: Read John 17:5, 24. At a point in Jesus’s ministry, the writer Luke says Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem to be crucified. Jesus knew this time would come. The time was here, and He was ready. What would that burden be like to know this darkest of valleys was to come? Though we cannot fully fathom what Jesus went through, can you relate to knowing something difficult lie ahead for you or someone you care for? What thoughts or emotions preoccupy your mind? The Bible says time after time that we are not outside of his care. Consider the Psalms or Romans 8. It can be easy to feel alone in the midst of some circumstances. Who in your life brings you back to the heart of the heart of God? Does someone in your family remind you? Is small group such a place?
Day 3: On Sunday, Amy shared a story about her dad needing open-heart surgery. On the day of surgery, a snowstorm hit, and the surgeon was unable to drive into the hospital. The surgery was postponed. It was clear what needed to happen, and the family desperately wanted it to happen. The delay was a negative. The need was urgent and clear, so let’s just get on with it. What is at stake if you try to avoid or rush through the process? Although Amy’s father and family wanted to be on the other side of surgery, he had to go through the surgery. What lessons did Amy’s family learn in the delay? How about you? Where is there waiting in your life? What is God teaching you as you go through it? Consider people in your life who are in difficult circumstances. Pray they may hear from God and be strengthened by Him.
Day 4: Read Hebrews 12:1-3. Jesus was able to endure because of the depth of His love for us and for what He knew ultimately lie ahead of Him. He was about to be reunited with His Father, to sit back down on His throne. Are you and I motivated to endure and follow? Refer back to Day 1. Do we seek to control our own life or surrender to Jesus? Know this. If we endure today trusting Jesus, we are becoming like Him from the inside-out. Do I believe the connection between my attitudes/thoughts/behaviors shapes the person I am becoming? What act of surrender is Jesus calling me to do the work of change? Are you willing?
Day 5: Read John 19:1-30. Jesus knew this was to come. That His mission on earth was nearly complete. So, on the cross He declared, “It is finished!” What was finished? Punishment paid. Sins forgiven. Curtain torn. Direct access to God. Yes, all of this was true! Jesus was finished. It was over. His mission accomplished. His purpose complete. Thirty-three years of a man’s earthly life ended, and He sat down at the right hand of the Father. Jesus was home. Hebrews 12:3 tells us to “consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” This endurance can be developed in our lives as we encounter conflict, pain, regret and loss. Are we willing to trust the Shepherd and follow Him? What does endurance growth look like for you? Where have you grown weary and lost heart? Spend some time today thanking Jesus for going to the cross on your behalf. You are invited to come to the Good Friday Experience at LSCC from 4-8pm (come and go) to reflect on Jesus’ endurance and find a renewed resolve and increasing trust in your own life.