It Is Finished - Part II
Day 1: Read John 19:30 out loud. We know the Easter story is more than a story about bunnies and chocolate-filled eggs. It’s a time of celebrating the remarkable story of Jesus. With His words, “It is finished” Jesus paid the price in full for our sins, past and future, by dying on our behalf. The shepherd we recently discovered in our last message series, Psalm 23, He became the lamb, a substitutional sacrifice that restores the relationship between us and God. It is done. Jesus ultimate sacrifice is our renewal. Write a note to Jesus acknowledging his sacrifice. Include something that has changed in your life in the past year because of your relationship with God. This act of writing will slow you down and invite you to be open and honest with Him.
Day 2: Easter is a message of hope, an invitation to experience the joy of taking steps to follow Jesus. We don’t need to clean up first, either. But often our issues, problems and frustrations take up all our time, keeping us at arms-length from Jesus. We get stuck. Or worse, we fall into the trap thinking we can manage our own sin. Consider the toughest problem in your life right now. Have you determined the options or solutions without seeking assistance from God? If He were to speak into your situation, what might He say? Where might you find insight from God?
Day 3: Once during a sermon, a minister presented a bottle of strychnine labeled “Poison” to his church. He then removed the poison label and substituted a new one titled “Peppermint Candy.” He asked, “Can you see the problem here? The milder we make the label, the more dangerous the poison’s presence.” His message: it’s time for all of us to put the poison label back on sin. We can make excuses or dance around our own behaviors and attitudes. Consider regret in your own life resulting from decisions you made or chose not to make. What specific emotions settled in your heart as a result? Can you recall? Avoid moving past these questions without remembering a specific instance in your life. It is acknowledging this pain that gives personal meaning to Jesus’s statement, “It is finished.”
Day 4: Yesterday, we reflected on the issue of regret and sin in our lives. If you took time for personal reflection, you stepped back into the emotions caused by your behavior and attitudes. You experienced the shame like the day you first recognized your wrong. When Jesus finished his work on the cross and through the resurrection, He assumed the power and right to take our sin upon Himself. As a result, we can experience forgiveness. In light of your reflection of past sin, have you tasted forgiveness? What does forgiveness do to your soul?
Day 5: After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, to fulfill the Scripture, said, “I am thirsty.” John 19:28. Jesus did not sip the sour wine until his mission was complete. His declaration of being thirsty reminds us of his humanity. After six hours of hanging on the cross, he is physically spent. He wets his lips to declare His mission finished. Cory shared a different type of thirst on Easter morning. The spiritual thirst of a desire to be in relationship with God, both today, and for eternity. By admitting our wrongs, accepting Jesus as our Savior, and choosing to follow Him, we experience two realities. We will one-day experience heaven with God. Amazing! Second, we experience fulfillment in life through knowing Him today! Our vision at LSCC is for all of us to take steps to know and become like Jesus. We do so by actively incorporating the commitments of worship (re-centering our lives with God), community (doing life together), and service (loving and serving others). What practical next step can you take this week to build a closer relationship with your Savior? Can we support you? Email Small Groups Pastor, Patrick Patrick.email@example.com. He or someone from his team will respond back to you.