“It is finished.” John 19:30
As we celebrate this Easter Season together these three simple words echo loudly in my heart. “It is finished.” So simple, yet so profound. The task has been completed. What needed to be done has been done. Nothing further is required. Maybe that’s why it was so difficult for me to accept.
When I became absolutely desperate almost twenty-seven years ago after being crushed by a self-imposed crisis I finally became willing to do ANYTHING to change my situation. In fact, I was so desperate that I became willing to even….seek God. That may sound crazy to some of you reading this (which makes sense because I was, without question, quite insane) but I was willing to do almost anything EXCEPT deal with the subject of God in my life. You see, I thought I knew about God. I knew I didn’t know all that much but the one thing I was absolutely sure of regarding God was that He was really, really unhappy with me. So for over twenty years, I treated God the same way I treated others that were unhappy with me. I simply avoided them.
Yet here I found myself with a life in shambles sitting in front of a man who simply proclaimed “John, if God doesn’t step into your life and perform a miracle you are going to die or maybe even worse, continue to live the same life you’ve been living.” I was crushed. I was absolutely sure that I was doomed. I was being told, in no uncertain terms, that this God who I had ridiculed, cursed, screamed at, and on and off doubted His reality was now my only hope. I didn’t know much about Hell but I was sure I was condemned to continue living there for now and eternity.
So I asked the question I had always asked in these situations “What do I have to DO?” And the response was simple: “Seek God.” And so I began my journey. And when I came face to face with those three little words, “it is finished,” I REALLY struggled. I had grown up in a “do” culture. What defined me as a man was what I DID, what I HAD ACCOMPLISHED, what I EARNED. And now here I was face to face with the reality that I didn’t get to DO anything. I simply had to accept what had already been done. Maybe some reading this have struggled, or still do, with that fact also.
Will you join me this Easter Season in trying to embrace and live in the words “It is finished“? It’s what we are trying to communicate to the youth we serve. They are never going to earn or deserve or be worthy or be good enough of God’s love, mercy, grace and forgiveness. They simply need to ACCEPT that what Jesus did at the cross WAS and IS enough! And then begin their journey, just as I did almost twenty-seven years ago, of following Him.
May you have a most blessed Easter Season and embrace and rejoice in the fact that
IT IS FINISHED!
John D. Jones, President