It is Finished

And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.

Matthew 27:50 ESV

When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.                                                                                                               John 19:30 ESV

It had happened again; Bobby Lee had defeated the Union Army of the Potomac. The men knew what would happen next: they would retreat back across the Rapahannock to their camps there, lick their wounds, renew their arms, and try again in six months or a year. But no. A group of horsemen flying the flag of the General of the Army, Ulysses S. Grant, came thundering down the road and when they came to the fork where one way led north and the other south, without slowing they turned south. As Bruce Catton, the historian, tells it, the leading troops broke into cheers. They were going to keep going.

Catton says that in that moment the outcome of the war was determined. Oh, there would yet be terrible fights and rivers of blood, but in that decision of Grant’s the victory of the Union was made inevitable. Their superiority in manpower and weaponry would not be allowed to languish.

So, it was on that rocky Judean hill on a Friday afternoon 2000 years ago. When that bleeding victim, who was not a victim at all, cried out, “It is finished,” the final salvation of earth and its human race was determined. He was not saying that his life was finished, or that his earthly ministry was finished. He was saying that all that was necessary to defeat evil forever was finished! He had met death head on, and in his death, death was forever destroyed. Is the battle over? No, there have been and will be calls for courage, fortitude, and self-sacrifice. But there is no doubt about the outcome. It is finished! Oh, Christian brother and sister, live in that assurance. It is finished!

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