“Where in your life do you need to know that “it is finished”? Where in your life are you still trying to earn your way, prove your worth, control your future, or get what’s already yours in Christ? What responsibility do you take as your own that was never yours to begin with?
“It is finished” invites you to end all the striving. Today, hear your victor speak those three words over you.
It is finished. That’s the startling truth of the marvelous cross. When we try to add to it, we are saying to Jesus, “Thanks, but I can do this on my own. I appreciate the agony you endured, but it wasn’t quite enough.”
We bring nothing to the cross – but our sin. We owe nothing to Jesus – but our complete adoration.”Jennifer Dukes Lee
Jesus sat at the last supper with the twelve, knowing full-well what was coming. He knew there was both a traitor and a denier in their midst. I often marvel at the subtle differences between Judas and Peter and their subsequent outcomes.
We look down on Judas and shake our head disapprovingly. Poor fellow, he was just bad to the core. We see his betrayal of Jesus and his selling-out for some silver coins and we are simply appalled – we know how his story ends.
Do we read the story of Peter with any less judgment? He didn’t just shy away from Jesus when the heat was on, he outright denied knowing him three times.
Betrayal and denial. Are they really that different? Does it matter?
I remember being in a Passion Play at Easter when I was younger, and the scenes with Peter and Judas just took the cake for me. The pain and weight of sin was too much to watch.
We must remember and put into practice the finished work of the cross. It’s not a suggestion or a holiday story we talk about once a year… it’s our lifeline. Judas despaired. Peter sorrowed.
Betraying Jesus wasn’t the worst thing Judas did. He utterly rejected grace and forgiveness. Peter’s denial of Christ was indeed devastating, but he allowed Jesus to be what Jesus said He would be: Savior.
Peter didn’t stop in his distress, he allowed Christ to heal it. When Jesus said “it is finished”, Peter accepted that it was indeed finished. Judas saw himself as somehow outside the realm of forgiveness and mercy and wouldn’t allow it.
It was never about the heavy sins… it was about the sinners acceptance (or refusal) of what Jesus did.
Good Friday tells us that “it is finished”. Sin has been dealt with. We’ve all betrayed and we’ve all denied. And so much more. Followers are not free from sinning, we have been set free from it’s power over us.
Do you feel like there are areas in your life where it isn’t quite finished? I think we all have things we hold on to and won’t leave at the cross. Sin is done for. It’s been paid and dealt with. Peter is just one of my favorite people ever. His story didn’t end with his sin, it began once he accepted Christ’s total work on the cross.
Both men felt shame and sorrow over their sin. Judas went to the Pharisees who told him he’d better go deal with it himself. What futility. There is no bigger dead-end than trying to save ourselves. Condemnation kills.
Peter took another way. He felt the pain and sting of his sin, and was convicted by it, but not condemned. Conviction turns a heart around.
This is a day to reflect on the fact that it really is finished once and for all. Sin is done for. Peter responded to grace. He responded to Jesus. He went on to live a big life for Jesus, to the point of martyrdom. He most assuredly sinned again… like we all will. But he was no longer defined by those sins, he lived in the reality that it is indeed finished.