RUNNING THE RACE
I am very good at starting projects but I am terrible at finishing them! I started laying wood floors in my home, remodeled my kitchen and these are projects I started a few years ago and I’m still finishing them. The same is true with reading books. I can start a book really well but 50-60 pages in and I find myself starting a new book and neglect finishing the one I started. I know, I have a problem and I need an intervention…
Some of my friends enjoy running, for fun! I, however, would run during a basketball game or something like that. To just start running isn’t all that fun, but when you have a goal in mind or check your Fitbit or Apple Watch to see your progress, it gives you a boost of energy. Without a goal set before you, it’s hard to finish something, let alone to finish it well.
CROSSING THE FINISH LINE WELL
Jesus, fully aware of what it meant for him to finish well, was doing the best with the time he had on earth to seek and save the lost. His goal is to bring people back into right standing with himself, and through Jesus’ death on a cross, he did just that.
With joy in his heart, Jesus finished the race and took the prize. What sustained Christ in the dark hours of Gethsemane was the hope of joy beyond the cross. At the time of Jesus’ death, no one really understood him when he said, “the temple would be destroyed and on the third day it would be built again.” What he meant by saying that was he was going to die (his body; the temple) but on the third day, he would rise again from the dead (temple rebuilt). Jesus fully knew what he said and that it was going to happen, but not everyone else knew it.
The reality and greatness of his love for us are found in the joy he had in leading many sons to glory. As a mother in the process of delivering a child has joy when she meets her child for the first time, you can imagine the joy of Jesus awaiting him at the resurrection. He endured the cross, and despised the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of god, the most powerful and authoritative position of all. And what all of this is today is the race being ran by the greatest runner of all, who shares his victory with us.
IT IS FINISHED
Easter is not about you and me or the Easter bunny.
Easter is about Jesus Christ; his death and resurrection. Yet Jesus made his ministry about us! How undeserving we are of that!
Our sin is what put him up on that cross. We are the ones who put him up there. And yet he cries out to God, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”
In those last moments of his life, struggling to breathe, Jesus uttered the words, “It is finished.” This statement here is a declaration that what Jesus set out to do was now made complete. What a profound statement for Jesus to say those 3 words. They will forever ring loudly for all of history to hear. The overall mission of Christ is to save sinners from themselves. Our sin has separated us from God, but Christ came to bridge that gap and gave us a way back into a right relationship with him. 2 Corinthians 5:17,21 says “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” And guess what?! Christ is not done with you!
WHAT GOD STARTED, HE WILL FINISH
Like I told you about my inability to finish projects, God does not have that problem. He finishes everything he does, especially the ability to die for the sins of the world. You know what else? He’s also not finished with you! Paul told people at the church in Philippi, “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”
God wants to do a work through you, just as he did a work for you. He wants you to be someone who shares the gospel and serves in the church so that others close to you might see and hear the good news of Jesus Christ. What is that good news?
IT. IS. FINISHED.