The Hope We Have Because “It Is Finished”

20150403120937I walk out of the office a bit shaky. I wonder if I’m a failure for finally handing over paperwork that will hit “reset” after a series of failed investments and recent years fighting the economy. Guilt and shame tighten around my thoughts, but then there’s this other emotion too: hope.

I sit next to my 12 year old, who just went through a fresh crisis last week, and am speechless. For the first time ever, she talks with her psychiatrist openly and lucidly. I’m watching the birth of her as a leader of her own mental health . . . and I can’t shake this strange feeling: hope.

I open a Bible and read of the last moments of Jesus on this day, centuries ago. Beaten and marred beyond recognition, he looked at the crowd of people—a mixture of followers, gawkers, hostiles, and passers by. He hoisted his exhausted body up in one last breath and exhaled, “It is finished” (see John 19:28-30).

The words look back at me from the page and in the midst of not understanding why he’d ever do this for any of us, a quietly powerful feeling arises: hope.

Because on this day, the most powerful act of love ever offered ripped the veil that separated humanity from its Creator and Father.

On this day, the only man who ever lived sinless took every broken piece of us and made a way for it to be whole again.

On this, Good Friday, the Son of God exhaled “It is finished” and allowed us to inhale hope.

  • Hope for the relationships we’re certain are beyond healing.
  • Hope for the situations we can’t imagine seeing redeemed.
  • Hope for ourselves when we trip into choices that constrict God’s grace in our lives.
  • Hope for our wayward kids, our petrified hearts, our lost dreams.
  • Hope for eternity with the one who loved so much he gave everything so we could be near again.

Over the years, I’ve often wondered why anyone would call this day commemorating Christ’s crucifixion “Good Friday.” But the longer I live, the more I see it. It wasn’t good that he had to die. It wasn’t good that he suffered or hurt or was ridiculed or rejected. The sin I contributed to his reasons for being crucified certainly wasn’t good.

But hope—hope that when he said, “It is finished,” meant ALL of it for ALL time for ALL people who would accept the gift—that is indeed so. very. good.

Whether you attend a Good Friday service someplace or simply consider the importance of this day in the quiet of your heart, let’s not allow this magnificent day to slip by without notice. Without it, Easter Sunday means so much less. Without it, we lose the hugeness of what came with that last breath of Jesus on Earth:

We have hope, because it—Christ’s work to redeem us—is finished.


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