“It Is Finished”
When we say these words, we usually say them with a feeling of pride, satisfaction – the goal is reached, the test is aced, the achievement is applauded. Or it may be more a sigh of relief – the challenge is overcome or outlasted, something can get marked off our to-do list.
“It is finished.” On Jesus’ lips, uttered from the cross with his dying breath, we hear something else. Rather than “over,” “ended,” or “done,” “finished” in Jesus’ mouth meant whole, complete, fulfilled. This sentence is the completion of God’s word that spoke creation into being, as in “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… in him was light and life, and the darkness did not overcome it.” Jesus’ declaration from the cross was the fulfillment of all the promises through the ages of God’s salvation, God’s mercy and steadfast love, God’s kingdom come – “It is finished!” – it is here; the promise is now reality.
This is the only reason we can call the day Jesus was horribly tortured and crucified Good Friday. It is good because in the pain and death of Jesus, sin is forgiven, reconciliation is possible, all people are claimed as beloved, and human hearts and human communities can be made whole. As Isaiah put it, by his stripes we are healed. It is finished.
We don’t have to fully understand the deep theology behind Holy Thursday and Good Friday. We merely need to look on the sacrificial acts of love – “this is my body, this is my blood given for you” – in amazement, humility, and gratitude. Thanks be to God. In Jesus’ love, Pastor Karen
Holy Thursday Encounter the great sacrificial love of God in Christ this evening at Dilworth Church’s Holy Thursday Service. Music, prayer, meditation, communion, stripping of the altar, and movement from light to darkness take us into the last hours of Jesus’ life – and also overwhelm us with the love of God. Bring your family – bring a friend. 7:00 in the Sanctuary.
Good Friday Spend some quiet time in prayer and contemplation on this day of Jesus’ crucifixion. Read Matthew 27:1-54 and look in grief and wonder on Jesus’ sacrifice for us all. The Little Prayer Chapel and the Sanctuary will be open for you to come and pray for our suffering world – pray for yourself – give thanks to God for God’s abiding love, grace and forgiveness.
Easter Sunday “Jesus is risen! He is risen indeed!” This is how we begin our day Sunday, in our first-ever service of The Loft at 9, and in our beautiful classic service at 11. There is nothing more powerful, glorious, holy, and life-giving than worshiping together on Easter Sunday and claiming God’s victory over sin, suffering, defeat and death. Bring your family. Bring your friends. Bring flowers from home for the cross. Bring yourself! As always, we will enjoy the Butterfly Release in the Courtyard at 10:30 (after an open house of the new SPARK space at 10) and celebrate the grand finale of each worship service with the communal singing of the “Hallelujah Chorus.” Don’t miss this!