Friday, April 10
John 19: 30
“It is Finished”
The thing that is “finished” here, I think, is not just the execution of Jesus. The cross is the humble ending to life well lived. We can over focus on the dramatic events of Holy Week to the exclusion of the mundane aspects of Jesus’ life that came before – humble birth in a podunk town, blue-collar carpenter career, calling of low-ranking disciples, parables with everyday elements, homelessness, inclusion of children, etc…
Jesus did not die a high ranking hero. Crucifixion was the death of a nobody. Jesus didn’t even get his own “private” death – there were two other criminals with him. He lived a low-profile life and died a low-profile death; Perhaps this is why the high-profile people of his day didn’t understand or appreciate him.
We should not seek to die as heroes but to live as humble servants. I think this is what Jesus meant by daily carrying our crosses. If we die as a hero or someone with high esteem we’ve done something wrong. We should seek to live as humble and unseen servants. The greek tense of the verb in this saying of the cross suggests as much; It implies that the action, the “finishing,” is ongoing.
As a closing prayer, the Beatitudes:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
— Danny Steis