An old hymn goes “For I will cherish the Old Rugged Cross, till my trophies at last I lay down. I will cling to the Old Rugged Cross and exchange it one day for a crown.”
In John 19:30, Scripture reads, “Therefore, when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” and He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.”
His mission was completed.
He accomplished what the Father required and He willingly gave His life in payment for the sins of this world.
During Holy Week, we remember the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are reminded that this was an ultimate price paid by Him for each of us. We were bought back, with the precious blood of the Lamb of God.
To reflect on the final days of our Lord’s life on this earth, is a solemn time. It is one that demands our attention as we examine our hearts and draw close to God.
On the cross, Christ took our sin, pain, shame and sorrow. He endured all, even though it was not His to do so. Obedience to His Father and restored fellowship with His creation was the purpose. Together and with all humility let us take this journey.
Jesus shared his final meal with those He loved at the Last Supper. Sitting at the table they broke bread together and talked about what was to come. Jesus tried to prepare his disciples for what would be one of the most difficult times in His life and theirs. As they finished eating, Jesus got up from the table, took a towel and began to wash the feet of His disciples. He took the place of a servant to those who called him Lord. This would be yet one more example for His disciples and for us — servanthood and love for one another.
Jesus proceeded to the Garden of Gethsemane where His soul was grieved to the point of death. He prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not as I will but Thy will be done.”
Luke 22: 43-44 reads, “Now an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him. And being in agony He was praying fervently and His sweat became drops of blood falling down upon the ground.” The weight of the sin of the world, the agony of the call, the torment of the souls of people, rested upon Him. This is the price He was to pay. What was given away by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden would now be bought back by the Son of God. He chose to pay the extreme price that none other could. And He would endure the cross for our sake.
Many today experience no peace of mind in these troubled times. The Bible says Jesus is our peace and He alone is the “Prince of Peace.” When we surrender all to Him at our own “Garden of Gethsemane” He will release His peace into our hearts and lives. This is the peace He paid for, that passes our own understanding and is freely bestowed upon us. All we have to do is ask and receive this gift.
As He proceeded past Gethsemane, into the courts of Herod and Pontius Pilate, all the way to the cross He would willingly complete His Father’s mission. He was beaten and bruised for us and died a horrific death, yet without opening His mouth to save or defend Himself. As He hung on the cross He declared to heaven, earth and under the earth that “It is finished.” Mission accomplished.
The earth shook, God turned His face from his only begotten son, as Jesus gave up His spirit. However, for humanity, the best was yet to come.
In the morning as the women came to prepare the body of Jesus for burial, they found the stone was rolled away and the grave was empty. Seeing two angels, these words were declared to them, “Why do you look for the Living One among the dead? He is not here; He has risen, just as He said.”
Hallelujah, He has risen! Rejoice! Jesus Christ is alive, seated today at the right hand of the Father, victorious! Celebrate Him and be filled with this wonderful truth and blessed hope.
Patty Scahill of Austintown is a conference speaker and author.