Lent Devotion for March 28
"It is finished."
Reader: "It is finished."
Response: "He bowed his head and gave up His spirit.”
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 22:31
His righteous acts will be told to those not yet born. They will hear about everything He has done.
SCRIPTURE: John 19:28-30
28 Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. 30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
SCRIPTURE: Hebrews 10:10-18
10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. 14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
15 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:
16 “This is the covenant I will make with them
after that time, says the Lord.
I will put my laws in their hearts,
and I will write them on their minds.”
17 Then he adds:
“Their sins and lawless acts
I will remember no more.”
18 And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.
Reader: “The word of the Lord. "
Response: “Thanks be to God.”
This pairing of Scriptures is most interesting and significant, interesting because we have a psalm of lament that ends on a very positive note and the description of an event that is “once for all.” This later phrase is related to the two unrepeatable events in everyone’s life. Let’s look at the psalm first. The twenty-second Psalm opens with an agonizing lament, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” The song vividly portrays Jesus’ horror on the cross, though this was written a thousand years before the Christ. Having said this, the latter portion of the psalm is a song of relief, hope, and worship, concluding with the assurance that people yet unborn will proclaim the righteousness of the Lord. The fulfillment of the latter part of the psalm is yet to be. As you re-read the John and Hebrews passages, note the absolute words. The Holy Spirit is speaking and says plainly “remember no more” and “no longer.” We read the words “can never,” “once for all,” and “perfect forever.” We read “everything” and “it is finished.” Do you see how completely accepted the work of Jesus is by God the Father? God is the one using absolute words. And because they are His words, we know from God’s perspective, our sin has been covered perfectly by our Savior, forever. God is satisfied. Moreover, these words are still binding. We are seen as people who are being made holy in this life and seen as having obtained the righteousness of Christ. Think about how many things are not done, not completed in your life. How many times can we say “can never” or “it is finished forever?” As long as life goes on, there are very few “nevers.” We’ve discovered we are really not in a position to make any definitive, absolute, certain statements. The only thing we can say with absolute certainty is “one day I will die.” The wonderful news is that Jesus took care of that part in our place so that we can “depart” this earth without fear. That seems to me to be a better word and better concept than “die.” Because Jesus “finished it,” we are not finished!
MUSIC: "Hallelujah What a Savior” by Sovereign Grace
Lord God, your claims are absolute; we must accept them without bargaining. You are always right. Your demands are so full of blessings! I thank You for Your severity as Redeemer, I thank You for never having allowed us to mingle the odor of death with Your perfume of eternity. I shall go towards You as towards my state of rest and my eternal life. In Your two hands, You hold my being; and You are my reward because the perfection of my being lies in You. Grant that I may love more and more of this life of faith, wholly irradiated by hope, grant that I may love this desert place where You have put my soul, this immense plain with You in the center where I stand always before You and some day soon, by Your Grace, by Your side. Amen.