Lenten Devotion for April 9, 2014

By Ryan Peterson

Read John 19:28-30

In our house, there are multiple interpretations of the word “finished.” When we ask our oldest son to clean his room, he does. Sort of. On the surface (or the floor, to be more precise), it looks like he has finished the job. That is, until the next day, when my wife will open his closet and find piles of clothes stuffed into corners, rather than folded and placed into drawers.

To be fair, my wife and I also have different interpretations of that word. Apparently, putting away most of the dishes and putting away most of the food from dinner doesn’t constitute “finished” according to her. I disagree.

In our reading today, Jesus utters one word, which when translated, means, “It is finished.” It doesn’t mean mostly finished or sort of finished. FINISHED. This is the ultimate word, describing the ultimate act for which Jesus came. He came to die and be raised from the dead for the salvation of our souls. Jesus’ work is now done and our forgiveness is secure.

God the Father sent Jesus on a mission, with a purpose to accomplish. As Jesus died, he completely finished that mission. He did fully and completely what He needed to do.

What would our lives be like today if Jesus didn’t completely finish? What if Jesus went to the cross but didn’t die? What if Jesus gave up in the Garden of Gethsemane? What if he was too tired or too frustrated, and then simply quit?

Those questions don’t need to be answered. Historically, we know that Jesus did die and He did finish. He died not because He sinned, but because He carried my sin, and your sin, upon Himself. Jesus took sin’s punishment for us. He completely finished.

We pray: Jesus, thank you for completely finishing the work you came to do. Give us faith to live and trust in you. Amen.

Family Discussion: Talk about real life examples of not finishing the job, and what might happen as a result. For example, what if only half the lawn was mowed? What if a student only did half of their homework?