“It is Finished!”

  • Post comments:0 Comments

The air was heavy with the tension of injustice. 

There had never been a day like this day.  The rabid fervor of hatred was felt in the open streets, hotter than the fires that lit their clay ovens.  A life that had been thrust upon them only three short years ago was about to be snuffed out, making the city electric, partly with a sense of anticipation, partly with feelings of dread. 

And then the darkness came…

Darkness.  Such darkness as was occurring at this moment was something nobody had ever seen, not even in the depths of the night, and especially not in the middle of the day as it was now.  Darkness that could be felt as much as seen, if seeing darkness was the right term for it.  The accompanying tension was palpable.

“Death” had been the sentence and the plan had been carried out forthwith.  But He’d done nothing wrong!  And deep down, they all knew it.  Nobody, not one person, could give an honest account of a stray word or deed, much less anything that could ever be deserving of death.  But the mob had ruled and the jealous and resentful had won the day.

“Let his blood be upon our heads and the heads of our sons,” they had declared, not realizing the prophetic nature of their assertion.  Yes, let his blood flow.  That will do the trick, they thought.  That will bring an end to his heretical assertions.  It would be the end of it all, with the spilling of his cursed blood.

So, it had proceeded.  Many who had previously been among those who cheered when he came into town to help the helpless and care for those who were downcast, were now joining the bloodthirsty crowd that shouted curses at the brutally injured man.

They watched as he carried the heavy instrument of his own death up the hill.  They saw when his strength gave out and he collapsed in the dust.  As some shouted angry taunts, others wept quietly in fear.  Amazingly, he spoke with compassion to those who wept.  He continued exuding the same love the masses had seen in him, even as he faced the unrighteous sentence that was being carried out against him.

Finally, mercifully, his journey ended.  The wooden instrument was laid down underneath him as large spikes were hammered into his body.  He was then hoisted above the ground.  Posterity would record that it was 9:00 a.m.  He hung for all the gathered inhabitants to see.  For 3 hours people gazed up at him, some casting the stones of their vile words, as the morning light shined down.  The only man who’d ever lived a fully righteous life.  The only man ever completely deserving of a ‘reward’ of life, receiving the penalty of death instead. 

But then physical darkness came.

Many who stood by were confused and afraid.  A few seemed excited and expectant.  “I have never seen anything like this before,” they said.  Isn’t that the same kind of comment they’d all made to one another during the three years of his impartation into their lives?  All the miracles, all the goodness, all the teaching of love.  Their hearts had burned with an all-consuming fire any time they were blessed to be in his presence.  But what could this sudden darkness mean?

Those who’d sentenced him seemed nervous and less sure about the course they’d taken.  The mob who’d followed as a pack of wolves to a fresh meal now grew quiet.  What had they done to this good man?

Those who looked on could see that he was carrying something that no mortal man had carried before.  It was a contradiction.  He was absolute purity, absolute goodness.  He was love in the flesh.  Kindness and humility poured forth from each look he gave and every event the people had witnessed.

And yet, there was something almost indescribably horrible upon him too.  He bore the look of a man who carried the weight of the world on his bloody shoulders.  Some would say it was as if every base thought, every sickening action of man, every ugly intention and every angry word that had occurred under the sun for all eternity seemed to be flung upon him as he hung there, as more hours passed in the darkness. 

Purity and filth seemed to be combined in and on one man.  Blinding light and impenetrable darkness joined at one moment in time.  He was both beautiful and hideous to behold.  They could not look because of the revulsion they felt and yet they could not tear their eyes away because of the wonder of glory they beheld.  It made no sense whatsoever but would soon make all the sense in the world.

The judges, the jury, the executioners stood in awed silence.  The worshippers, the followers, his disciples, his mother, all gathered around with sorrow that could fill a lifetime of experiences.

 Earlier, he had given voice to the anguish in his soul and had spoken into the heavens, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?”  But no relief came to the one who had granted relief to the masses.  He was alone in his torment.  And he tarried, hanging on the thread between life and death, as the darkness grew deeper.

 Where had the darkness come from?  The sun had been in the sky.  There had been no clouds.  There was no eclipse of the sun.  But suddenly the sun could not give its light, as if an enormous unseen hand was blocking it from their sight.  It was a moment unlike any before it in the history of man. 

The heaviness – indeed, the gloom, that all felt was just like that darkness which now descended on the earth.  It was unnatural.   No, it was supernatural.  Fear now exploded in the hearts of all.  Who was this one?  And on his anguish continued, as he carried something that none could understand.

When suddenly, from somewhere in the depths of the man a cry came forth.  But it wasn’t the cry of a tortured human.  It came forth with such force.  It came with such finality, as if the heavens were declaring it.  Indeed, it seemed to those who heard it that possibly God Himself had rent the heavens and a boom descended upon the hearers as the words were spoken. 

But there was more in his cry, and all in the vicinity could sense it.  It was like the pronouncement of a great judgment had occurred.  It resonated within their hearts and shook their souls to the core.  None standing there would leave unchanged.  Even the soldier in charge of overseeing the verdict noted with whispered awe, “surely, this was the Son of God.”

His words broke upon the darkness, one…last…time, summoned like the call of a lion that is roaring in domination.

In spite of the beating he had taken, a pounding that often resulted in death all by itself, wielded as it was by those expert soldiers who were ‘gifted’ with their whips that were laced with pieces of glass and metal, as each lash wrapped around the torso and ripped pieces of flesh away from the body…

…in spite of all this, coming up from a hidden reservoir of power within him… coming down like the sound of a trumpet echoing off the mountains, words that would echo throughout the end of time.  Were they words of defeat of a man breathing his last tortured breath?  No, all would agree later.  It was not defeat.  They were words of…victory!!

They were words of joy, of exultation!  They came with authority, shocking the heavens and shaking the earth, breaking powers and ending dominions.  He lifted his head one last time…and the ‘Lion of the Tribe of Judah’ roared to all those who for eternity could now be His own.  “It is finished!!!”

Leave a Reply