The Gospel of John | Day Sixteen
By: Brittany Green | It’s Friday, but Sunday’s Coming!
"One of God's greatest gifts to me came as a blessing in disguise. When I was 9 years old, my family and I moved from the US to Germany. Moving overseas was a really, really scary experience, especially for a 2nd grader who had never been outside of the US before. It was one of the hardest and scariest years of my life, but also one of the best.
We traveled all over Europe and saw tons of amazing things. We stayed in Germany for one whole year before moving back to the US. But, a few years later, we moved back to Germany for a second time. (That's right - we packed up and moved across the globe, not once, but twice!)
Since we hadn't moved overseas to work for the US military or for a large company, we were all on our own. We had to organize both moves by ourselves, including flights, housing, and school. Because of this, I went to a German-speaking school for both years that we lived in Germany (3rd grade the first time, and 9th grade the second time).
Going to school in a different country and with people who spoke a different language taught me to fully rely on God and helped me mature into the Christian I am today. Although dividing my time between two countries, two languages, and two cultures has been a constant struggle, God used this unique experience to deepen my faith. Living in a foreign country felt dark and scary at times, but that only made my light shine all the more brighter!"
It’s technically Tuesday, but for the sake of where we are in John let’s take our minds to Friday. It was the day before the Sabbath (Saturday) of Passover week. This is the holiest week of the Jewish year. Friday was the day that Jesus’ trial began in the wee hours of the morning--probably a little after midnight on Thursday. Friday turns out to be a day of pressure for the Jewish leaders: they’ve got to get this whole mess done before the Sabbath starts. Legal actions and work cannot happen on the Sabbath, and it completely ceases once Passover begins.
So let’s look at this dark, sneaky Friday. Read John 19:16-42.
How does this reading make you feel? What emotions are you experiencing right now?
Does anything new stand out to you?
What does Jesus say in verse 30? “_____ _____ ____________________.”
These words have so much meaning behind them. It’s one word in the Greek: Tetelestai.
“It is finished” gives us freedom. When Jesus’ life ended, our life began. Because of tetelestai, we have freedom and fullness of life. Jesus gives the ultimate value and purpose to your life because “it is finished.”
What are some things that Jesus finished because of the cross?
The cross takes the place of centuries of animal sacrifice and rituals taking the place of sin. Because God is holy and perfect, sin separated His people from a full relationship with Him. God made a way to rectify that through a series of rituals and sacrifices. The problem was that these sacrifices never completely satisfied the relationship; each sin required sacrifice. Because of the cross, those religious acts were atoned for once and for all. Grace upon grace.
So what is finished?
- The religious system
- Trying to do the right things to get into God’s graces,
- The wages of sin – death is over now. Your death happened when Christ died in our place. He brings us to life. Death got one shot, but it picked the wrong guy – Jesus defeated death. Spiritual death is done.
- Shame is finished. You are new because Jesus finished it. No longer does your past define you. Whatever you have been through or done, Jesus covered it on the cross.
- Selfishness -We rally around the Cross where Jesus was selfless. You’re in the story to give God all the glory.
- Insecurities – We’ve got to live as girls freed by Christ and empowered by the Holy Spirit.
In what ways are you not living as if all the above is finished?
What are other ways that Jesus has freed you?
Spend some time reflecting on what it means for Jesus to have gone to the grave for you. Take heart that there is hope, even on the Fridays. We live in the ache of a fallen world, redeemed by a Savior, waiting for His return. What a good day that will be!