An End and a Beginning

John 19:30
When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

All along, it seemed as if men were leading Jesus about and doing all these things to Him.  They came for Him in the garden and bound Him up and led Him away.  They took Him to the palace.  They took Him to Pilate.  And the soldiers sent Him back and forth, abusing Him all the while.  Then finally they lead Him up that hill with His cross, bind Him to it with those nails and leave Him there.

But if Jesus had not gone willingly, they certainly wouldn’t have been able to take Him.  He contained within Himself great power, and no chains or straps could have contained Him.  He did not lose His power, but exercised self-control and submission.  No one did anything to Him that He didn’t allow.  No man took anything from Him, but He gave it willingly.  No one had any ability or power to use against Him except what He gave them.

And this was the culmination of it all—God dying on a cross.  The holy Son making the sacrifice.  The author of life releasing His for our sakes.  And so it was finished.  God’s plan is finished.  The suffering of Christ is finished.  Satan’s reign is finished.  Sin’s power is finished.  The separation of man from God, the hopelessness, the waiting were all finished.  That great deed was done.  Sin was atoned for, the payment made, the sacrifice prepared and offered, and the wrath of God satisfied.  The blood had been shed, the Scripture fulfilled, the duty accomplished.

And so with this finished, something new could begin.  A hope dawned that day, though it seemed so dark.  Life began that day, though death seemed to rule.  The old moved into the past, and the future was for something new, something wonderful yet to come.  God had worked it all out from the very beginning.  God had set these pieces in place for this moment in time.  He had prepared and planned.  He had worked and moved.  And Jesus had obeyed so completely that everything worked out exactly as it should.  Jesus came knowing everything He would face, and He walked that path willingly, giving His all for us.

So what will we do with the completed work of Christ?  What will we do now that His end has come and our beginning was made possible?  Will we allow Him to lead us about and guide us where He would have us to go?  Will we submit and surrender our all for Him so He can work out His plan through us?  Will we willingly give to Him the authority over our lives and move forward with great anticipation into all that He has prepared for us?