Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Good Friday Matins

Good Friday
April 6, 2007St. John 18:1-19:42
Exodus 12:29-32; 13:1-16; Hebrews 6:1-20
“It is finished.” (St. John 19:30)
The last and great word of Jesus from the Cross: “Tetelestai.”
“It is finished.” With this word, Christ announced to everyone – to the Father and the Holy Spirit, to Satan and his hell hounds, and to the whole human race – “mission accomplished.” We have been saved from Satan, death and hell, and have been presented to God without blemish or sin.
Death is said to finish us off. But here Christ finishes off death itself. This little word “it” carries a lot of force. The fulfillment of all prophecy comes to its completion. The words of King David in Psalm 22, “My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?” become reality.
The separation between God and man, because of sin, is broken. God’s ultimate gift is given: the life of His own Son for your salvation. Because of this gift, you are a citizen of heaven, and a child of the Heavenly Father. All of that is accomplished. That is IT.
It – the mission – is finished. A great exchange took place. You deserve death, but you receive life. Jesus deserves life and received death. What a mystery! That God would exchange our frail, sinful lives for the life of His Son. What a miracle there is in the little word, “it”. That word ushers in freedom from death to slavery and sin. Satan, too, heard that word and cringed. He, too, is finished.
It is finished. The tense of the verb is present perfect. The victory is an accomplished fact. The Son’s purpose in coming down from heaven has been completed. The gulf between heaven and earth is bridged. This announcement was made by God to God. The Son tells the Father that it is all done. Even as He yielded up His life, Christ claimed the victory.
What an amazing truth! God looks at you through Jesus and loves you as His dear child. You have been brought into His family through the waters of Holy Baptism, and He sustains you with His very Body and Blood shed on this Tree, because “It – all of it – is finished.”

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