November 27, 2013

Jesus Finishes His Work

John 19:16-22, 28-30

“It is finished.”
—John 19:30


One of the last things Jesus said on the cross was “It is finished.” To whom was Jesus talking when he said that?

To himself? Was this a cry of terror, something like “This is it! I’m going to die! It’s all over!”

To the devil, his enemy who fought him all his life? Was Jesus surrendering here, saying to the devil, “Yes, it’s finished; you win!”

To God, his Father? Was Jesus saying, “You failed me; you didn’t protect me. It’s over between us—finished!”

To you and me? Was Jesus saying, “Sorry about this. I tried, but I guess all I’ve said and done ends here.”

Earlier, in John 17:4, Jesus had said to the Father, “I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.” What work was that? 1 John 3:8 tells us: “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” And the devil’s work is death, suffering, broken relationships, evil of every kind.

So when Jesus said, “It is finished,” to whom was he speaking?

To the devil? Yes, it’s the shout of a conqueror!

To God? Yes, it’s the exclamation of a mission accomplished!

To us? Yes, it’s the good news that the battle over death has been won for us!

With deepest gratitude, Lord Jesus, we hear your cry that your mission is accomplished, our victory won. We confidently wait for your victory to be fully present at your return, when all will be well. Amen.

About the author — Harvey Stob

Rev. Harvey Stob and his wife, Audrey, served as missionaries in Argentina for eleven years. They then served churches in Cincinnati, Ohio; Ridgewood, New Jersey; and Ann Arbor, Michigan. Harvey retired from full-time pastoral work in 2009. He and Audrey have three children and seven grandchildren.

Start your day with quick daily devotions.

See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!