I was moved by a section of the book we are following this week, “Christians at the Cross,” by N.T. Wright, where he writes about the word that lies at the heart of the crucifixion story in John 19. The word is, “Finished.” This is Jesus’ last word on the cross. In this word, all his ministry and work, his entire mission comes to fulfillment.
One way to understand this word is that it is what was written to indicate that a bill had been settled: ‘Paid in full’. But Bishop Wright points to a deeper meaning. In the beginning of the story, in the book of Genesis, when God made his beautiful world, on the sixth day he finished it. God completed his work. And now, on the sixth day (in the Jewish calendar), on Good Friday, Jesus completed his work of redeeming the world. Here are his words:
With his shameful, chaotic, horrible death he has gone to the very bottom, to the darkest and deepest place of ruin, and has planted there the sign that says, ‘Rescued.’ It is the sign of love, the love of the Creator for his ruined creation, the love of the Saviour for his ruined people. Yes, of course, it all has to be worked out. The victory has to be implemented. But it’s done; it’s completed; it’s finished.
Amazing love, how can it be…