A Finished Work

JESUS SPEAKING

                 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst.”  Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to his mouth.  So when Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished!”  And bowing his head, he gave up his spirit (John 19: 28-30.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

                Jesus had come to the end of his suffering on the cross.  He was betrayed, arrested, abandoned, beaten, humiliated, falsely accused, interrogated, publicly ridiculed and teased, spit on, and pierced by thorns; he was maimed by a whip about the neck, back and legs (the whip contained sharp shards which tore open his flesh;) a bag was placed over his head and he was struck in the face; Jesus carried a cross through mobs of people who hurled insults at him.  Spikes were driven through his hands and feet.  Despite the long list of pains he endured, thirst was one of the greatest agonies of the cross.  The condemned were denied water; Jesus had lost huge amounts of blood and was exposed to the heat of the day; his body desperately sought water to repair itself.  Near death, he said, “I thirst.”  The soldiers responded to his thirst by raising a vinegar soaked sponge to his lips (vinegar is an extremely bitter tasting liquid—even the Romans mercy seemed cruel.)  In his last moments, Jesus tasted the bitterness of man’s sin.  He then said, “it is finished,” and he died.  In a single day he had finished his greatest work; the salvation of mankind.  He took the penalty of man’s sin upon himself.  He suffered God’s wrath, so that those who would believe in him could avoid destruction. 

                The following is a fictitious story which illustrates the work of Jesus on the cross:  A girl and her mother lived next to a snake farm in India.  From the time of her youth, the girl was told not to wander near the snake pits.  One evening the girl began to argue with her mother; frustrated and filled with anger, she struck her mother; in shock the girl ran from her home; because it was evening she didn’t realize she was running toward the snake farm.  Suddenly she plummeted into one of the pits.  Seeing a single cobra staring her in the face, she screamed.  Hearing the scream, her mother came running and looked down into the pit and saw her daughter’s distress.  The woman jumped into the pit, and lunged toward the cobra to save her daughter.  The mother was bitten.  The young girl reached forward to pull her mother away from danger, and the cobra also bit her.  The owners of the snake farm heard the commotion and came running.  They pulled the women from the pit and rushed them to the hospital.  The mother went in to cardiac arrest, but the young girl showed no symptoms.  After a half an hour, the girl’s mother was pronounced dead.  The girl began to sob uncontrollably.  The Doctor approached her with a somber look on his face.  The girl asked him, “How could this have happened?  I’m completely fine; we were bitten by the same snake; why is it I am healthy and my mother is dead?”  The Doctor compassionately replied, “Well, your mother was bitten first; and the snake used all of its venom on her.  When it bit you, it had nothing left to inject.  Your mother saved your life.”

                Similarly, Jesus Christ has placed himself between God’s wrath and those who deserve to experience it.  He has taken the full penalty for sin upon himself; he has paid the price; he has suffered death so others may live.  As Jesus endured suffering he thought of you, and he thought of me.  He thought of us.  Have you accepted his sacrifice?  Have you allowed him to take your place?  Give Jesus Christ the opportunity to heal your spirit and to wash your sins away.  If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior, you can do that today.  Contact me and we can talk about how you can partake in Christ’s offering and know the true peace of God within your heart.

                “Lord Heavenly Father, we come before You and thank Your Son for his suffering.  We thank You for allowing him to take our place on the cross.  Thank You Jesus, for enduring God’s wrath so we can escape His punishment and be forgiven for our sins.  Father, be our God; be our salvation; be the center of our lives; fill us up with Your Spirit, and help us to sacrifice our lives for others (as You have done for us.)  We love You, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name, Amen.”  God bless all of you.

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