2006-04-07 - The Seven Last Words of Christ
John 19:30a (NASB) Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished!"
To what was Jesus referring, when He said "it is finished?" What was finished?
Christ's Earthly ministry was finished. He had brought in the New Covenant, as described in Hebrews 8 (NIV):
7 For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. 8 But God found fault with the people and said: "The time is coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. 9 It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they did not remain faithful to my covenant, and I turned away from them, declares the Lord. 10 This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 11 No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. 12 For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more." 13 By calling this covenant "new," he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear. Through his substitutionary death for us on the Cross, Christ purchased our salvation, which was the reason He was born in Bethlehem, and the reason He submitted to the death penalty, even though He had committed no crime, nor even a sin. As Christ had to remind Earthly-minded family and disciples, He was to be "about His Father's business."
What about you? When you are about to breathe your last breath, can you say "it is finished?" Can you say that you have fulfilled God's will for your life? Are you being about your Heavenly Father's business? Do you even know what that purpose is? I know personally that it's not always easy to know that purpose. Before I found my calling (or it found me), I sometimes wished God would skywrite it across the sky for me, like an advertising banner at a baseball game!
What are your natural gifts? What do you have a holy passion to do? What do mature Christian family or friends who know you well, say you are "made to do?"
What do you spend most of your waking hours thinking about / doing? Think about your answer. Does it improve someone's life? Does it spread God's love to others? Will it matter in eternity?
Are you a good steward of the life God has given you, or are you frittering away your precious minutes on nonessentials? I challenge you today to ask God to get you on track, toward fulfilling His purpose for you.We don't have to be a Billy Graham or a Mother Teresa. He has a purpose for each one of us, and it's our responsibility to find that purpose and fulfill it. It may be as a mother who loves our children and reaches out to those children around us who are unloved. It may be as a prayer warrior (We all should pray, but some can spend hours in prayer each day.) It may be as a missions worker to another country, or as a Social Worker in this one. It might be as a secretary who blesses those she / he comes into contact with daily. Almost any work can be honoring to God! We owe it to God to find out and pursue our purpose; we owe Him our very lives.
Comments or Questions?